×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Berlin Film Festival: New Films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin, Denis Cote in Competition

New films by Francois Ozon, Fatih Akin and Denis Cote are among the titles that will compete for the Golden Bear at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.

German director Akin’s “Der Goldene Handschuh” (“The Golden Glove”) and French helmer Ozon’s “Grâce à dieu” (“By the Grace of God”) were announced by the Berlinale in its first batch of competition films Thursday. Akin won the Golden Bear in 2004 with “Head-On.”

The lineup also includes “Der Boden unter den Fuessen” (“The Ground Beneath My Feet”) by Austrian director Marie Kreutzer; “Répertoire des villes disparues” (“Ghost Town Anthology”) by Canadian director Cote; “Ich war zuhause, aber” (“I Was at Home, But”) by German director Angela Schanelec; and “Kız Kardeşler” (“A Tale of Three Sisters”) by Turkish helmer Emin Alper.

All six competition films unveiled Thursday will have their world premieres in Berlin with the exception of “By the Grace of God,” which gets its international premiere at the festival.

“By the Grace of God,” which is being sold by Playtime, centers on Alexandre, who learns that the priest who abused him as a child is still working with kids. He and two other victims band together to “lift the burden of silence.” Previous Ozon movies include “Water Drops on Burning Rocks,” “Swimming Pool” and “8 Women.”

“The Golden Glove” is inspired by the real-life case of a serial killer who murdered and dismembered four prostitutes in Hamburg’s red light district in the 1970s. The film is adapted from Heinz Strunk’s novel. Diane Kruger won best actress at last year’s Cannes for Akin’s “In the Fade,” which also won the Golden Globe for foreign-language film.

Horror title “Ghost Town Anthology,” repped by Films Boutique, is set in a remote town in Quebec, where, following the death of a young man in a road accident, the residents fear “an undefinable evil is haunting the region.” Cote was previously in competition in Berlin with “Vic + Flo Saw a Bear” and “Boris Without Beatrice.”

“A Tale of Three Sisters” follows three sisters from a poor village in Turkey who are placed with more affluent foster parents in the hope of improving their lives. Alper’s previous films include “Beyond the Hill,” which played in Berlin’s Forum section, and “Frenzy,” which won the special jury prize at Venice.

“I Was at Home, But…” is about a teenage boy who disappears from home after the death of his father. Schanelec’s past films include “Places in Cities” and “Marseille,” which both played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, and “The Dreamed Path,” which screened at Locarno.

“The Ground Beneath My Feet,” which is being sold by Picture Tree Intl., centers on a high-powered business consultant whose grip on reality slips away after a family crisis. Kreutzer’s “The Fatherless” premiered in Berlin’s Panorama Special sidebar and received a special mention as best first feature.

Three titles for the Berlinale Special section were also announced: U.S. documentary “Watergate”; German-Austrian miniseries “Brecht,” to which Netflix owns most rights; and India-produced “Gully Boy,” which will have a gala screening.

“Watergate,” which premiered at Telluride and aired on History, looks at the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Director Charles Ferguson helmed the Academy Award-winning “Inside Job” and the Oscar-nominated “No End in Sight.”

Danish director Lone Scherfig’s “The Kindness of Strangers,” an English-language ensemble piece that takes place in a New York restaurant, was previously announced as the festival’s Feb. 7 opener. Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche will oversee the main competition jury.

The 2019 Berlinale will be the last one under the aegis of Dieter Kosslick, who has run the festival for nearly two decades. His job will be split into two following his departure, with Carlo Chatrian of the Locarno fest taking charge of the artistic side and Mariette Rissenbeek assuming the title of executive director.

The 69th Berlin Film Festival runs Feb. 7-17.

In Competition

“The Ground Beneath My Feet” (Austria)
Dir: Marie Kreutzer

“The Golden Glove” (Germany/France)
Dir: Fatih Akin

“By the Grace of God” (France)
Dir: Francois Ozon

“I Was at Home, But” (Germany/Serbia)
Dir: Angela Schanelec

“A Tale of Three Sisters” (Turkey/Germany/Netherlands/Greece)
Dir: Emin Alper

“Ghost Town Anthology” (Canada)
Dir: Denis Cote

Berlinale Special

“Gully Boy” (India”)
Dir: Zoya Akhtar

“Brecht” (Germany/Austria)
Dir: Heinrich Breloer

“Watergate” (U.S.)
Dir: Charles Ferguson

More Film

  • Playables and Double Fine Film 'KIDS'

    Playables and Double Fine Creation 'Kids' Chosen for Berlinale

    “Kids,” a short film from Playables and Double Fine Presents, has been officially selected to screen at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, announced Thursday via press release. The Berlin International Film Festival, commonly called the Berlinale, is one of the largest film festivals in the world. “Kids” will screen in a Berlinale sidebar called Generation. [...]

  • Roland Joffe

    Roland Joffe to Direct Mobster Drama 'The Legitimate Wiseguy'

    Roland Joffe will direct the independent mobster drama “The Legitimate Wiseguy,” Variety has learned exclusively. Joffe received Academy Award nominations for best director for “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission,” which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986. He also helmed “The Scarlet Letter,” “The Forgiven,” “City of Joy,” “Time Traveller,” and “There [...]

  • Christian Bale (left) as Dick Cheney

    Berlin Adds 'Vice,' New Films by Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine to Official Lineup

    Five new titles, including the latest films from Zhang Yimou and Andre Techine, have joined the official selection of this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Adam McKay’s “Vice” has also been added, but will screen out of competition. “Vice” has already won a Golden Globe for star Christian Bale’s portrayal of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney [...]

  • Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to

    Picture Tree Adds ‘Cold Feet’ to Berlin Market Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Picture Tree Intl. has added German romantic comedy “Cold Feet” (Kalte Füsse) to its market lineup at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sales agent will screen the film as a market premiere. Sony Pictures released the pic, directed Wolfgang Groos, in Germany on Thursday, and it garnered 100,000 admissions over its opening weekend. “Cold [...]

  • Neil Burger

    'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project

    “The Upside” director Neil Burger is set to direct sci-fi thriller “Voyagers” as his next project. The film will be fully financed and co-produced by Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, and produced by Burger’s Nota Bene Productions and Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road Films. AGC also handles international sales on the new film. Written and directed by [...]

  • Berlin: M-Appeal Acquires Panorama Title ‘Greta’

    M-Appeal Acquires Berlin Panorama Title ‘Greta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    M-Appeal has acquired world sales rights to “Greta,” the feature debut of Brazil’s Armando Praça which will world premiere in this year’s Berlinale Panorama section. The Berlin-based film industry has also dropped an international trailer, to which Variety has had exclusive access. Produced by Carnaval Filmes, whose credit include major titles by Marcelo Gomes, one [...]

  • Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary

    Kew Media Boards Michael Jackson Documentary 'Leaving Neverland' for International

    Kew Media Distribution has boarded controversial Michael Jackson sex-abuse documentary “Leaving Neverland” ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Kew Media has taken international distribution rights (excluding U.K. and U.S.) to the two-part documentary, which is a co-production of HBO and British broadcaster Channel 4. Directed by BAFTA-winner Dan Reed, “Leaving [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content