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‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘Love, Nina,’ ‘Night Manager’ to Play at Berlin Film Festival

LONDON — Season two of “Better Call Saul,” “Love, Nina,” written by Nick Hornby, and Susanne Bier’s “The Night Manager,” based on John le Carre’s novel, are among the TV series selected for the Berlin Film Festival’s Berlinale Special Series program.

In the second season of “Better Call Saul,” Jimmy McGill perfects his idiosyncratic interpretation of the law, bringing him even more in sync with the simpatico, albeit shady character from “Breaking Bad.”

“Love, Nina” explores 1980s London through the eyes of a young woman. “It’s a subtle look back at a society clinging doggedly to its traditional class divisions,” the fest said. Faye Marsay and Helena Bonham Carter star.

Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston topline in “The Night Manager,” in which Bier uses the current conflicts in the Middle East to set the background for a suspenseful game of cat and mouse.

The Australian/New Zealand series “Cleverman,” which is also playing, takes as its subject the fear of those who are different. It is a disturbing look into a near future in which so-called “hairy people” are marginalized. The cast is led by “Game of Thrones” actor Iain Glen and Frances O’Connor, who was a Golden Globe nominee for “The Missing.”

“As we were reviewing this year’s submissions, we once again noticed how their makers embraced experimentation. They use the series format for expeditions into new narrative and visual forms in every genre, without losing sight of the realities of society,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said.

BERLINALE SPECIAL SERIES
“Better Call Saul” – Season 2 (U.S.)
Showrunners: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould (“Breaking Bad” – series)
With Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando, Ed Begley Jr.
Broadcaster: AMC, Netflix
International Premiere

“Cleverman” (Australia/New Zealand)
Original Concept: Ryan Griffen
Directed by Wayne Blair (“The Sapphires”), Leah Purcell
With Iain Glen, Frances O’Connor, Deborah Mailman, Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Stef Dawson, Ryan Corr, Tasma Walton
Broadcaster: ABC (Australia), SundanceTV (U.S.)
World Premiere

“Love, Nina” (U.K.)
Directed by S.J. Clarkson (“Jessica Jones” — series)
Writer: Nick Hornby
With Faye Marsay, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Watkins, Joshua McGuire
Broadcaster: BBC
World Premiere

“The Night Manager” (U.K./Spain)
Directed by Susanne Bier (“In a Better World”)
Written by David Farr, based on the novel by John le Carré
With Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, Tom Hollander
Broadcaster: BBC (U.K.), AMC (U.S.)
World Premiere

“Splitting Up Together”
Denmark
Creator: Mette Heeno (“Park Road” – series)
Directed by Hella Joof
With Maria Rossing, Peter Plaugborg, Stine Schrøder Jensen, Katrine Greis-Rosenthal, Esben Dalgaard
Broadcaster: TV 2 Denmark
World Premiere

“The Writer”
Israel
Creator: Sayed Kashua (“Arab Labor” – series)
Directed by Shay Capon
With Yousef Sweid, Ruba Blal-Asfour, Yasmin Churi, Adham Bachus
Broadcaster: Keshet Broadcasting, IBA Israel Broadcasting Authority
International Premiere
In addition, two episodes of the Netflix series “Cooked” will be shown as part of the Culinary Cinema program. The series, produced by Alex Gibney, is based on Michael Pollan’s eponymous bestseller.

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