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Wednesday, 30 January, 2002, 10:57 GMT
Berlin festival takes time to reflect
Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday shows "senselessness of violence"
The 52nd Berlin Film Festival, known as the Berlinale, will be blessed with glamour but touched by the long shadow cast by the attacks on the US on 11 September last year.

The Berlinale's director Dieter Kosslick has attracted more high-profile names to this year's event but he said the film programme had become more serious as a result of the attacks.

Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe is expected to attend to promote A Beautiful Mind
"We have to address the political reality of the world and the power of the media," he said.

"It's all a bit more serious than normal," he added.

The festival starts on 6 February and runs for 12 days, with almost 400 films being screened.

Twenty-three of the films will be in competition for the festival's top award, the Golden Bear. Eighteen of the movies will receive their world première.

'Intolerance'

The festival opens with the thriller Heaven, filmed by German director Tom Tykwer and starring Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi.

Mr Kosslick said it was no accident that the first full day of screenings will begin with the British movie Bloody Sunday, directed by Paul Greengrass.

"It shows the senselessness of violence, terrorism and intolerance, and how it would be better in this world if everyone could accept different systems and religions," he said.

Russell Crowe, Dame Judi Dench, Catherine Deneuve, Kevin Spacey and Marisa Tomei are among the celebrities expected to attend the festival to promote their respective films.

Iris, The Shipping News and Bloody Sunday are among the films in the main competition.

Debate

Two separate perspectives on German film will fulfil Mr Kosslick's promise to lend greater weight to indigenous film making.

Mr Kosslick is a former head of a film foundation in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia and has pledged to turn the festival into a serious forum for intellectual debate.

The Berlinale is considered one of the top three European film festivals behind Cannes and alongside Venice.

Gosford Park director Robert Altman and Italian actress Claudia Cardinale will be honoured at the festival with lifetime achievement awards.

Altman will receive his award at a gala on 10 February and Cardinale will be honoured five days later.

See also:

22 Nov 01 | Film
Nair to lead Berlin film jury
22 Oct 01 | Film
US attacks 'affect' Berlinale
08 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Berlin reaches for the stars
05 May 99 | Entertainment
Berlin loses its cultural cool
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