Omar Sy Feature ‘The Strangers’ Case’ Among Late Additions To Berlinale Special Sidebar

The Strangers’ Case from American filmmaker Brandt Andersen and starring French actor Omar Sy will make its world premiere at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

The film’s short synopsis reads: Tragedy strikes a Syrian family in Aleppo, starting a chain reaction of events involving five different families in four different countries.

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The pic is among a trio of late additions to the Berlinale Special sidebar, announced this morning by the festival. Also showing in Berlin are the two mid-length Japanese films Chime by Kiyoshi Kurosawa and August My Heaven by Riho Kudo.

Chime follows Tashiro, a student at a culinary school, who hears voices in his head. His teacher, Matsuoka, remains unconcerned. But then Tashiro claims that a machine has replaced half of his brain. August My Heaven follows Joe, who earns a living as a professional stand-in actor for hire to play a relative, lover, or friend for her clients and attend ceremonies. After an encounter at a funeral, her professional and private lives merge.

Berlin opens this year on February 15 with Cillian Murphy movie Small Things Like These. The film reveals truths about Ireland’s Magdalen laundries – horrific asylums run by Roman Catholic institutions from the 1820s until 1996, ostensibly to reform “fallen young women.” It takes place over Christmas in 1985, when devoted father and coal merchant Bill Furlong (Murphy) discovers startling secrets kept by the convent in his town, along with some shocking truths of his own. The movie reunites director Tim Mielants (WIL, De Patrick, The Responder) with Murphy, who previously worked together on series three of Peaky Blinders.

Other standout titles already announced include Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger, a feature documentary about influential British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger narrated by Killers of the Flower Moon filmmaker Martin Scorsese. The feature is directed by David Hinton and features rare archival material from the personal collections of Powell, Pressburger, and Scorsese.

Love Lies Bleeding, the latest feature from British filmmaker Rose Glass will also play in the Specials program. The feature stars Kristen Stewart alongside Weronika Tofilska. A short synopsis describes the pic as “a romance fueled by ego, desire, and the American Dream.” The film will arrive in Berlin following its debut at Sundance.

Scorsese will receive the Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement during this year’s festival and Lupita Nyong’o will head the International Jury.

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