Berlin Festival Adds Lumet, Panahi Films

Thursday, January 26th 2006, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

BERLIN (AP) _ The Berlin International Film Festival has completed its competition lineup, adding premieres of new films from Sidney Lumet and Iran's Jafar Panahi to its program.

The annual event opens Feb. 9 with a screening of Marc Evans' ``Snow Cake,'' starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. The Berlin event, the first major European film festival of the year, ends Feb. 19.

Lumet's ``Find Me Guilty,'' a courtroom drama starring Vin Diesel as mobster Giacomo ``Fat Jack'' DiNorscio, who successfully defended himself in a two-year-long trial in the mid-1980s, has been added to the competition, organizers said Thursday.

The 81-year-old Lumet has made more than 40 films in his career, among them ``Network'' and ``12 Angry Men.''

The other new entry is Panahi's ``Offside,'' which follows the story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy to attend a soccer game at a stadium in Tehran.

Twenty-three entries in the official program had been previously announced. Organizers plan to add a final entry, screening out of competition, next week.

Among other entries are Robert Altman's adaptation of Garrison Keillor's ``A Prairie Home Companion,'' starring Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson and Kevin Kline; Claude Chabrol's political thriller ``L'ivresse du pouvoir (Comedy of Power)''; and ``The Road to Guantanamo,'' from Michael Winterbottom, which traces the story of three British Muslims held at the prison camp.

Charlotte Rampling will head the jury that will award the festival's top Golden Bear prize.

Last year's winner was the South African film ``Carmen in Khayelitsha,'' directed by Mark Dornford-May.