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Berlin Adds Films by Agnieszka Holland, Agnes Varda, Chiwetel Ejiofor to Lineup

New films by Agnieszka Holland, Agnes Varda and Isabel Coixet have been added to the official lineup of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival, along with special screenings of directorial debuts by British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and “Narcos” star Wagner Moura of Brazil.

The Berlinale added 11 titles to its competition slate Thursday, representing countries such as China, Norway, Mongolia and Israel. Of the 18 competition titles selected so far, eight are directed by women, including festival opener “The Kindness of Strangers,” by Danish director Lone Scherfig.

Holland’s eagerly anticipated “Mr. Jones,” starring James Norton and Vanessa Kirby, will have its world premiere in Potsdamer Platz. The politically charged film centers on the real-life Welsh journalist Gareth Jones (Norton), whose reporting uncovered a deadly famine in Ukraine in the 1930s.

Another famine-themed film heading to Berlin is Ejiofor’s “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” which was recently acquired by Netflix and is one of six titles added Thursday to the Berlinale Special section. Ejiofor’s debut feature tells the story of a boy in Malawi who found a way to save his village from starvation. Ejiofor stars as the boy’s father.

Netflix will also be represented by Spanish director Coixet’s “Elisa & Marcela,” about a lesbian couple in Spain who got married at the turn of the 20th century. The decision to let one of the streaming giant’s films play in competition is likely to draw ire from Germany’s exhibitors, following similar outcries in France after Cannes and in Italy after Venice.

Varda’s autobiographical documentary, “Varda par Agnes” (“Varda by Agnes”), will world premiere in Berlin but will play out of competition.

Other titles unveiled Thursday include “Marighella” by Moura, who plays drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in “Narcos”; “The Operative” by Israeli director Yuval Adler, starring Diane Kruger and Martin Freeman; and “Who You Think I Am” by French actor-director Safy Nebbou, with Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche.

Films announced Thursday by the Berlin Film Festival:

Competition

“Di jiu tian chang” (“So Long, My Son”)
People’s Republic of China
by Wang Xiaoshuai (“In Love We Trust,” “Beijing Bicycle,” “Chinese Portrait”)
with Wang Jingchun, Yong Mei, Qi Xi, Wang Yuan, Du Jiang, Ai Liya, Xu Cheng, Li Jingjing, Zhao Yanguozhang
World premiere

“Elisa y Marcela” (“Elisa & Marcela”)
Spain
by Isabel Coixet (“Elegy,” “The Bookshop,” “The Secret Life of Words”)
with Natalia de Molina, Greta Fernández, Sara Casasnovas, Tamar Novas, Maria Pujalte
World premiere

“Gospod postoi, imeto i’ e Petrunija” (“God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija”)
Macedonia / Belgium / Slovenia / Croatia / France
by Teona Strugar Mitevska (“When the Day Had No Name,” “The Women Who Brushed Off Her Tears,” “I Am From Titov Veles”)
with Zorica Nusheva, Labina Mitevska, Simeon Moni Damevski, Suad Begovski, Violeta Shapkovska, Stefan Vujisic, Xhevdet Jahari, Andrijana Kolevska
World premiere

“Marighella”
Brazil
by Wagner Moura
with Seu Jorge, Adriana Esteves, Bruno Gagliasso, Jorge Paz, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Humberto Carrão, Bella Camero, Ana Paula Bouzas
World premiere – First Feature
Out of competition

“Mr. Jones”
“Poland / United Kingdom / Ukraine
by Agnieszka Holland (“Spoor,” “Europa Europa,” “Angry Harvest”)
with James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard
World premiere

“Öndög”
Mongolia
by Wang Quan’an (“White Deer Plain,” “Apart Together,” “Tuya‘ s Marriage”)
with Dulamjav Enkhtaivan, Aorigeletu, Norovsambuu Batmunkh
World premiere

“The Operative”
Germany / Israel / France / USA
by Yuval Adler (“Bethlehem”)
with Diane Kruger, Martin Freeman, Cas Anvar
World premiere – Out of competition

“La paranza dei bambini” (“Piranhas”)
Italy
by Claudio Giovannesi (“Fiore,” “Alì Blue Eyes”)
with Francesco Di Napoli, Ar Tem, Viviana Aprea, Pasquale Marotta
World premiere

“Systemsprenger” (“System Crasher”)
Germany
by Nora Fingscheidt (“Without This World”)
with Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister
Wold premiere – First Feature

“Ut og stjæle hester” (“Out Stealing Horses”)
Norway / Sweden / Denmark
by Hans Petter Moland (“The Beautiful Country,” “A Somewhat Gentle Man,” “In Order of Disappearance”)
with Stellan Skarsgård, Tobias Santelmann, Bjørn Floberg, Danica Curcic
World premiere

“Varda par Agnès” (“Varda by Agnès”) – Documentary
France
by Agnès Varda (“Cléo from 5 to 7,” “The Gleaners and I,” “The Beaches of Agnès,” “Faces Places”)
World premiere – Out of competition

Berlinale Special

“ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch” – Documentary
Canada
by Jennifer Baichwal (“Long Time Running,” “Watermark,” “Manufactured Landscapes”), Nicholas de Pencier (“Long Time Running,” “Black Code,” “Four Wings and a Prayer”), Edward Burtynsky (“Watermark”)
European premiere

“Es hätte schlimmer kommen können – Mario Adorf” (“It Could Have Been Worse – Mario Adorf”) – Documentary
Germany
by Dominik Wessely (“Reverse Angle: Rebellion of the Filmmakers,” “Nelly’s Adventure,” “The Housewife’s Flower”)
with Mario Adorf, Senta Berger, Margarethe von Trotta
World premiere

“El Norte” (“The North”)
USA (1984)
by Gregory Nava (“Bordertown,” “My Family,” “Selena”)
with Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, David Villalpando, Ernesto Gómez Cruz, Lupe Ontiveros
European premiere of the restored version, in cooperation with NATIVe

“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”
United Kingdom
by Chiwetel Ejiofor
with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Lily Banda, Noma Dumezweni, Aïssa Maïga, Joseph Marcell, Lemogang Tsipa
European premiere – First Feature

“Lampenfieber” (“Kids in the Spotlight”) – Documentary
Germany
by Alice Agneskirchner (“On Hunting – Who Owns Nature?”, “20xBrandenburg,” “Dear Mum, I Hardly Knew You…”)
World premiere

“Celle que vous croyez” (“Who You Think I Am”)
France
by Safy Nebbou (“Angel of Mine,” “Dumas,” “In the Forests of Siberia”)
with Juliette Binoche, François Civil, Nicole Garcia
World premiere

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