Berlin film festival adds films from Lumet

The Berlin International Film Festival has completed its competition lineup, adding premieres of new films from U.S. veteran Sidney Lumet and Iran's Jafar Panahi to its program, organizers announced Thursday. The annual event opens Feb. 9 with a screening of Marc Evans' "Snow Cake," starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. The first major European film festival of the year, it ends Feb. 19.

Organizers said they have now added to the competition 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. Lumet has made more than 40 films in his career, among them "Network," and "12 Angry Men."

The other new entry was 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 have previously been 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," whose stars include Meryl Streep, Woody Harrelson and Kevin Kline; French director Claude Chabrol's political thriller "L'ivresse du pouvoir" ("Comedy of Power"); and "The Road to Guantanamo," from Britain's Michael Winterbottom, which traces the story of three British Muslims held at the prison camp. British actress 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, reports the AP. N.U.

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