x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Films from Jude Law and Jafar Panahi join Berlin film festival

Keeping with a tradition of bringing high-wattage stars together with champions of hard-hitting political cinema, the Berlinale unveiled nine new entries to the February event.

New releases starring Jude Law and Catherine Deneuve and the world premiere of a picture by the embattled Iranian director Jafar Panahi joined the line-up for next month's 63rd Berlin film festival.

Keeping with a tradition of bringing high-wattage stars together with champions of hard-hitting political cinema, organisers of the Berlinale unveiled nine new entries to the February 7 to 17 event.

Steven Soderbergh will screen what he has called his last film "for a long time", a crime thriller about pharmaceuticals, Side Effects. Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones star as psychiatrists and Rooney Mara as a desperate patient.

The French screen icon Deneuve leads in the road movie On My Way as the owner of a family restaurant who takes off in her car when she finds herself in financial straits and abandoned by her lover. Panahi, a filmmaker repeatedly acclaimed at international festivals for socially critical movies that are banned in Iran, will present Closed Curtain, a film in which he reportedly also appears on screen.

He was arrested for a documentary he tried to make on the unrest following the 2009 election. After being placed under house arrest, he was later sentenced to six years in jail and banned from making more films for 20 years.

In 2011, his This Is Not A Film had to be smuggled out in a USB key inside a cake to be screened at Cannes.

The big-screen debut of the director Fredrik Bond, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman featuring Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood and Mads Mikkelsen, will also enter the competition at the Berlinale.

Other films to feature in the line-up, which is not yet complete, include the French director Bruno Dumont's Camille Claudel 1915 with Juliette Binoche, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker from Bosnia's Danis Tanovic (No Man's Land) and Germany's Gold, starring Nina Hoss, who wowed critics in last year's Berlinale entry Barbara.