Berlin Film Festival opens with 'The Grandmaster'
Director Wong Kar Wai smiles during the press conference for the film The Grandmaster at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Thursday, Feb.7,2013. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
BERLIN (AP) — Martial arts epic "The Grandmaster" kicked off the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday, introducing an international audience to Yip Man, the man who mentored Bruce Lee and brought kung fu to the masses.
The movie by Wong Kar-wai is running out of competition because the director also heads this year's jury.
Shanghai-born Wong and his fellow jurors — among them American actor-director Tim Robbins — will have to choose from 19 movies competing for prizes at the 63rd Berlinale.
Jury member Tim Robbins poses at the photo call during the jury press conference at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Thursday Feb. 7, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/ AP)
These include the Steven Soderbergh thriller "Side Effects" with Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Gus Van Sant's film "Promised Land" about the shale gas industry starring Matt Damon.
Juliette Binoche portrays a troubled French sculptor in "Camille Claudel 1915," while "Gold" tells a tale of German immigrants seeking their luck in late 19th-century North America.
Competing also are romantic thriller "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman" with Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood, and "Closed Curtain" by Iranian film maker Jafar Panahi, who was barred from leaving Iran to attend the festival.
Actor Tony Leung, Director Wong Kar Wai and actress Zhang Ziyi pose for photographers at the photo call for the film The Grandmaster at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Thursday, Feb.7,2013. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
The winner of one award has already been announced. French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann will be honored for his life's work. Lanzmann's nine-and-a-half hour documentary "Shoah" about the horrors of the genocide of European Jews was screened at the festival in 1986.