HEADLINES:
September 20 2018
Berlin film festival kicks off in the shadow of #MeToo
16 February 2018

Opens with the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated film Isle of Dogs.

The curtain went up on Thursday at the annual Berlin International Film Festival with the world premiere of Wes Anderson’s animated film Isle of Dogs.

The first of the major European film festivals this year is overshadowed by the sexual abuse scandal that has hit the film industry in the United States and spread to other countries across the globe.

Has become a global issue

“The international resonance that #MeToo has been met with has quickly made it obvious that the problem is not confined to Hollywood,” the festival organisers said in a statement. “Across the world, the individuals affected by such abuse have found the courage to go public with their stories.”

The organisers said they had created a special counselling centre at the festival, where both audience and participants of the festival could go if they experience or witness discrimination, harassment or abuse.

Germany has its own scandal: Dieter Wedel, a prolific director of German television dramas, resigned last month as head of a theatre festival following allegations of sexual misconduct. Several women claimed that he pressured them for sex. Mr. Wedel has denied the claims.

Germany’s Culture Minister Monika Gruetters announced on the sidelines of the festival that her ministry will give €100,000 to set up a permanent counselling centre for victims of abuse in the entertainment industry in Germany.

In this year’s festival, German director Tom Tykwer will head the jury. Nineteen films are taking part in the competition for the coveted Golden Bear award which will be announced on February 24.

Film’s distinction

The festival’s opening movie, Isle of Dogs, is set for release in U.S. movie theatres in March and internationally in April. It will be the first animated film to open the Berlin festival, and the fourth movie Mr. Anderson has presented in the event’s competition. Most recently, he brought The Grand Budapest Hotel to Berlin in 2014.

Mr. Anderson’s movie features the voices of Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton, among others.

 

 

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