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Jafar Panahi, Werner Herzog, Bill Condon Films to Play at Berlin Film Festival

Werner Herzog's 'Queen of the Desert' stars Nicole Kidman and James Franco

LONDON — Dieter Kosslick, the chief of the Berlin Film Festival, has added to his Competition Section lineup, which will include films by Jafar Panahi, Werner Herzog and Bill Condon.

Among the additions are Panahi’s “Taxi,” Condon’s “Mr. Holmes,” starring Ian McKellen and Laura Linney, and Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis and Robert Pattinson.

Panahi’s credits include 1995’s “The White Balloon,” which won the Golden Camera for best debut at Cannes, 2000’s “The Circle,” which won the Golden Lion at Venice, and 2006’s “Offside,” which won the Silver Bear at Berlin.

Panahi was arrested in his native Iran in 2009, and subsequently banned from making films for 20 years. Despite this, he has produced two films since, “This Is Not a Film” and “Closed Curtain,” which played at Berlin in 2013, and won the Silver Bear for screenplay.

As a writer, Condon won an Oscar for “Gods and Monsters,” and was Oscar nominated for “Chicago.” As a director, his recent credits include “Dreamgirls,” the two “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” movies, and “The Fifth Estate.”

Herzog’s credits include “Fitzcarraldo,” which won best director at Cannes, and “Grizzly Man,” which was named best documentary by the Directors Guild of America.

Other titles joining the Berlin Competition section include Wen Jiang’s “Gone with the Bullets,” which stars Wen Jiang and You Ge, Benoit Jacquot’s “Diary of a Chambermaid,” which stars Lea Seydoux, and “Body,” from Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska, whose last film “In the Name Of” also competed at Berlin and won Berlin’s Teddy Award.

Also added to the Berlin Competition program are German director Sebastian Schipper’s “Victoria,” and Vietnamese director Di Phan Dang’s “Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories,” which featured in the Berlinale’s Co-Production Market. Di Phan Dang’s last film “Bi, Don’t Be Afraid” played in Critics’ Week at Cannes in 2010, and picked up a couple of prizes, before playing at more than 50 festivals.

Previously announced films in the Berlin Competition section include Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella” and Peter Greenaway’s “Eisenstein in Guanajuato.”

The complete Competition program will be announced next week. The festival runs Feb. 5-15.

NEW COMPETITION SECTION TITLES:
“Body”
Poland
Dir: Malgorzata Szumowska (“Stranger,” “Elles,” “In the Name Of”)
Cast: Janusz Gajos, Maja Ostaszewska, Justyna Suwala
World premiere

“Cha va con va” (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories)
Vietnam/France/Germany/Netherlands
Dir: Di Phan Dang (“Bi, Don’t Be Afraid”)
Cast: Do Thi Hai Yen, Le Cong Hoang, Truong The Vinh
World premiere

“Journal d’une femme de chambre” (Diary of a Chambermaid)
France/Belgium
Dir: Benoit Jacquot (“Farewell, My Queen,” “Three Hearts”)
Cast: Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Clotilde Mollet, Herve Pierre, Vincent Lacoste
World premiere

“Mr. Holmes”
U.K.
Dir: Bill Condon (“The Fifth Estate”)
Cast: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hattie Morahan
World premiere – Out of competition

“Queen of the Desert”
U.S.
Dir: Werner Herzog (“Fitzcarraldo,” “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Damian Lewis, Robert Pattinson
World premiere

“Taxi”
Iran
Dir: Jafar Panahi (“Closed Curtain,” “Offside”)
Cast: Jafar Panahi
World premiere

“Victoria”
Germany
Dir: Sebastian Schipper (“Gigantic,” “A Friend of Mine”)
Cast: Laia Costa, Frederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Burak Yigit, Max Mauff, Andre M. Hennicke
World premiere

“Yi bu zhi yao” (Gone with the Bullets)
China/U.S./Hong Kong
Dir: Wen Jiang (“Let the Bullets Fly”)
Cast: Wen Jiang, You Ge, Yun Zhou, Qi Shu, Huang Hung
International premiere

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED BERLIN COMPETITION FILMS:
“45 Years”
U.K.
Dir: Andrew Haigh (“Weekend”)
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay
World premiere

“Als wir träumten” (As We Were Dreaming)
Germany/France
Dir: Andreas Dresen (“Grill Point,” “Cloud 9,” “Stopped on Track”)
Cast: Merlin Rose, Julius Nitschkoff, Joel Basman, Marcel Heuperman, Frederic Haselon, Ruby O. Fee
World premiere

“Cinderella”
U.S.
Dir: Kenneth Branagh (“Hamlet”)
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter
International premiere – Out of competition

“Eisenstein in Guanajuato”
The Netherlands/Mexico/Belgium/Finland
Dir: Peter Greenaway (“The Tulse Luper Suitcases”)
Cast: Elmer Bäck, Luis Alberti
World premiere

“Ixcanul” (Ixcanul Volcano)
Guatemala/France
Dir: Jayro Bustamante
Cast: María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo, Marvin Coroy
World premiere – Debut feature

“Knight of Cups”
U.S.
Dir: Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”)
Cast: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman
World premiere

“Pod electricheskimi oblakami” (Under Electric Clouds)
Russia/Ukraine/Poland
Dir: Alexey German (“Paper Soldier”)
Cast: Louis Franck, Merab Ninidze, Viktoriya Korotkova, Chulpan Khamatova, Anastasiya Melnikova, Piotr Gasowski
World premiere

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