What to expect this year at the Berlinale

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The opening film: 'Isle of Dogs'

He's a Berlinale regular: US director Wes Anderson has already presented three of his films in the competition of Germany's largest film festival. His latest work, "Isle of Dogs," will be the first animated film to open the festival. A pack of outcast dogs star in this socially critical stop-motion animated movie.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The star directors

The world's major film festivals all compete for the big names from the US in their line-up. Along with Wes Anderson's opening film, the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival features Gus van Sant's "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot" (photo) and Steven Soderbergh's "Unsane" (out of competition).

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The Germans in the competition

Germany contributed to 10 co-productions in the competition. Works by renowned German directors Christian Petzold and Philip Gröning are also joining the race for the Golden Bear. Petzold has adapted a book by Anna Seghers ("Transit"), whereas Gröning's film "My Brother's Name is Robert and He is an Idiot" (picture) features the difficult relationship between siblings.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

Extraordinary stories from all over the world

Festivals also draw crowds of visitors by presenting unusual films from all parts of the world. This year, not only the US, Germany and other European film nations have joined the race for the Golden Bear. Works from Latin America have also triggered a lot of interest, as well as a comedy from Iran titled "Pig" (picture), by Mani Haghighi.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The Jury: Tom Tykwer and the others...

This year, the international jury deciding on the winners of the Silver and Golden Bears is headed by German director Tom Tykwer. He is supported by Belgian-French actress Cecile de France, US producer Adele Romanski and Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, among others.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The current issues: #MeToo

The Berlinale has always been seen as the most political one among the world's major festivals. As Germany's largest film festival, it can even influence politics. The festival's head, Dieter Kosslick, has already announced that the #MeToo debate will play a big role. Films dealing with the refugee crisis, already strongly present last year, are prominent this year again.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

Stars on the red carpet

German actress Anna Brüggemann's call for emancipation in red-carpet dress codes has created additional anticipation on what stars will be wearing on opening night. Will actresses such as Isabelle Huppert (pictured here at the 2017 Oscars) and Emily Watson make their appearance all in black?

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The Forum section

Traditionally, the Forum section presents works from all over the world featuring social or political commitment by directors that are not commonly known in Germany. Among them this year is director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit from Thailand presenting his fifth movie, a drama on death called "Die Tomorrow."

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The Panorama section

The big program section Panorama has a lot to offer. For example, the poetic work "Obscuro Barroco" by Greek director Evangelia Kranioti, which portrays the icon of Brazilian queer subculture, Luana Muniz (1961-2017).

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The Retrospective section

The Berlinale's Retrospective section offers visitors an opportunity to travel to faraway worlds. This year's program of historical films presents works representative of the golden era of German film during the Weimar Republic, among them "Opium" (1919), a movie by Robert Reinert that was set in 19th century China.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

Restored German classics

Next to numerous new films and retrospective shows, seven very special works celebrate their premiere at the Berlinale, namely restored versions of film classics, including Wim Wenders acclaimed masterpiece, "Wings of Desire."

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

Berlinale Talents

The Berlinale Talents has always been a meeting ground for young filmmakers. This year, some 250 such talents from 81 countries have been invited, among them directors, but also cameramen and cutters. According to the festival's management, "most of the talented filmmakers are in the fifth to 10th year of their career and have already gained some expertise."

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

Native - A Journey into Indigenous Cinema

The young Berlinale section Native focuses on works by indigenous peoples. In 2018, the section is dominated by films from island states in the Pacific, among them the documentary "MA'OHI NUI, at the heart of the ocean, my country," which examines the disastrous consequences of French nuclear tests carried out until 1996 in French Polynesia.

What to expect this year at the Berlinale

The Culinary Cinema section

The section Culinary Cinema focuses this year on the relationship between food and politics. "In both culture and politics, difficult decisions need to be taken, somehow comparable to the preparation of food that can also be quite difficult," said festival director Dieter Kosslick. Among the 10 films is "Lorello e Brunello" by Jacopo Quadri, on the problems of small-scale farmers in Tuscany.

As the 68th Berlin International Film Festival kicks off on Thursday, here are some of the program's highlights in pictures.