There are a lot of films about revolutions and new dawns, Dieter Kosslick, the festival's director, said at a news conference to announce the program. There's a focus on people protesting to get rid of old, stale regimes.
This year, the Berlin Film Festival will focus on the Arab Spring, looking back at the mass uprising and demonstrations, while exploring developments and shifts in perspectives over the past year. Arab directors will also be featured in the festival, featuring documentary and fictional films, not necessarily linked to the revolution, but that take place in the region.
War, prisoners on death row, victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and historical retrospectives are also among themes explored in the festival.
Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, will also be screened. The film is about a Serbian commander who falls in love with a Muslim prisoner.
I was thinking and meditating on these international themes of violence against women, lack of intervention and how human beings are changed and warped by war--and how some people come out stronger and some people are truly broken, Jolie told ABC anchor Christiane Amanpour, who covered the conflict in the 1990′s. There's no safe way to tackle these subject matters, but I think the important thing is to discuss them and tackle them.
Robert Pattinson is also set to appear at the festival, according to Business Week. The Twilight star will be promoting his new film, Bel Ami, where he plays the part of a young man in 19th century Paris, who manipulates influential and wealthy women to rise to power. The film also stars Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Meryl Streep, who recently received her 17th Oscar nomination for her role in The Iron Lady, will accept an honorary Golden Bear award for her life's work. Festival organizers announced that Streep would be receiving the festival's top award for her wide-ranging career on Feb.14. Other Streep films will be screened at the festival including, Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice.
German director Werner Herzog will be screening his four-part documentary about death row. The three-hour-plus documentary chronicles four cases of people on death row: Linda Carty, found guilty of murdering Joana Rodrigues; George Rivas and Joseph Garcia, who are serving multiple life-sentences and Hank Skinner, who claims innocence in the murder of his girlfriend and two sons.
For a full program of the festival visit: www.berlinale.de/en/HomePage.html.