Performance Service Advertising

Casting Notices

Feature Stories from Back Stage and Back Stage West

News Stories from Back Stage and Back Stage West

Columns from Back Stage and Back Stage West

Play Reviews and Postings for All Regions

Online Bulletin Board for Artists

Tools for Artists Including Artist Funding, How-To Articles, Listing Links, and The Ross Reports

Broadway Grosses and Related Data, Posted Weekly Trivia Questions Poll

Print Subscription Information

Advertising Information

Contact Information for, Back Stage and Back Stage West

West December 24, 2002

Strong H'wood Presence Seen at Berlin

By Scott Roxborough
For more stories from The Hollywood Reporter Click Here

Just six weeks away from the start of the 53rd annual Berlin International Film Festival, organizers are still hustling to lock up a final slate of international features to compete for the coveted Golden Bears.

If early reports are any indication, the 2003 festival looks to be strong on Hollywood, putting to rest any initial fears that festival director Dieter Kosslick would favor European features over U.S. fare.

The Berlin fest kicks off with the musical "Chicago" on Feb. 6 in an out-of-competition bow. The Miramax production, which just nabbed eight Golden Globe nominations and is already an Oscar front-runner, stars Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. Zellweger and Gere are expected to be among the cast members heading to Berlin.

Berlin has also snagged "Gangs of New York" in what sources said is an out-of-competition berth for the second week of the festival.

"Gangs" producer Intermedia confirmed the picture had been selected for Berlin but said it was not yet clear whether it would be part of the main competition selection.

A competition slot is unlikely, however, as "Gangs" is set to open in the United Kingdom next month, disqualifying it for a spot on Berlin's competition lineup.

The official announcement of films in the lineup will start to arrive in January.

Although festival reps declined comment, other Hollywood fare confirmed for Berlin, according to sources, includes the world premiere of Universal's Alan Parker-directed "The Life of David Gale," Spike Jonze's "Adaptation" from Sony, George Clooney's directorial debut for Miramax, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," and Stephen Daldry's "The Hours" from Paramount/Miramax.

Sources said it's likely Clooney and "Confessions" star Sam Rockwell will be in Berlin as well as "The Hours' " Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore.

In a statement, Parker said of "Gale": "I read the script in one sitting, astonished that such a well-written page-turner of a script hadn't already been made. Although the script -- an original story, a fiction -- most certainly had an important political issue at its core that I strongly responded to, it was also a terrific thriller. Our film is a thriller with a polemical heart."

Spike Lee's "25th Hour," from Disney, and Antoine Fuqua's "Tears of the Sun," from Revolution, are also believed to be in the running for competition slots, but festival sources said a final decision has not yet been made. Steven Soderbergh's sci-fi remake "Solaris," from 20th Century Fox, is another U.S. front-runner.

On the European side, Francois Ozon's "Swimming Pool," Michael Winterbottom's "In Our World" and Thomas Vinterberg's "It's All About Love" are expected to screen in competition at the Berlin fest.

With few high-profile German productions expected to be ready for the February event, Kosslick is reportedly having a tough time finding local features to compete with the U.S. invasion, but Wolfgang Becker's "Goodbye Lenin!" and Rudolf Thomes' "Rot und Blau" (Red and Blue) are expected to make the grade.

"A Little Monk" from Korean director Chu Kyong-jung, has also been selected for a competition slot, festival sources said, but organizers could not confirm that at press time.

In addition to the main competition section, the festival will feature a retrospective of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu's work, including "Tokyo Monogatari" (Tokyo Story), to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

There will also be special screenings of works featuring French actress Anouk Aimee. The star of such classic '60s films as Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" and "La Dolce Vita" will be honored at the Berlin event with a Golden Bear lifetime achievement award.

Stuart Kemp in London and John Burman in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Today's News
Benigni Takes on Italy's Establishment
Sibling Revelry: 'Adaptation' Tale of Two Kaufmans
Equity Gives Callaway, Bayfield
Back Stage West Presents.....An Evening With George Clooney
Back Stage West Presents....An Evening With Derek Luke
Strong H'wood Presence Seen at Berlin
More of Today's News


Maggie's Daughters
God's Country
Doug Varone and Dancers: The Bottomland

The Emigrants
Mary Shelley's Santa Claus
A Wilde Holiday

For more reviews, visit the Showguide

NY and LA Button