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|This year's Berlinale jury attend a press conference in Berlin on February 9 Photo: Li Jingjing GT Since opening day on February 9 Teez Tabor Jersey , this year's Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) has lived up to its decades-long reputation as a politically-minded event.
It all started when the international jury took aim at US President Donald Trump during a press conference on opening day.
"I'm here to investigate how to tear down the walls, there are many experts here and I will bring back this information back to Mexico," said Mexican actor Diego Luna, the Milk, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star who has been a frequent winner at many film festivals.
"…and to America," added US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, commenting on Trump's plan to build a wall along the country's border with Mexico. Gyllenhaal said that many in the US are "ready to resist" Trump.
Gyllenhaal is known for her film Crazy Heart (2009) and The Dark Knight (2008).
Luna and Gyllenhaal are both sitting on the international jury this year together with Dutch director and jury president Paul Verhoeven, Tunisian producer Dora Bouchooucha Fourati, Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, German actress Julia Jentsch and Chinese director Wang Quan'an.
"I cross that border three or four times a month, and I have many love stories in the States. I won't let any wall get in between my love stories," Luna continued.
The political atmosphere continued with the opening film Diango.
Django is French screenwriter Etienne Comar's first movie. It follows renowned jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt as he is forced to flee German-occupied Paris during a time when his gypsy brethren are being persecuted throughout Europe.
Django will also compete in competition together with 17 other films from around the world. The results for the Competition section will be announced on February 18.
This year's Berlinale will feature 400 films from more than 70 countries and regions.
China at the Berlinale
Wang Quan'an is a multiple award winner at the festival.
With his film Tuya's Marriage, in 2007 he became the third Chinese director to win a Golden Bear. His film Apart Together was chosen as the opening film for the Berlinale in 2010, and it went on to win the Silver Bear for Best Script. His film White Deer Plain won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in 2012.
"I used to take Bears away from here, now this time I give Bears to others. I feel like I've grown up," Wang told the Global Times at the opening of the film festival.
When talking about the current capital-driven film industry in China, Wang said that he feels the overall development of the industry has been positive "because making movies takes lots of money after all, even if it has also damaged something. All in all, I think it's just some growing pains. Art house films are sure to keep growing in China."
A long-time supporter of the Chinese film industry, the Berlinale has helped many Chinese directors from the so-called "fifth and sixth generation" make a name for themselves, Wang said. Numbering among these fifth and sixth generation of filmmakers are prestigious Chinese directors such as Zhang Yimou, Lou Ye and Jia Zhangke, who have all won awards at the Berlinale.
In addition to having a Chinese director on the jury, this year's Berlinale will also screen a total of six films from China in different sections.
Animated film Have a Nice Day directed by Liu Jian was selected for in competition. It will have its world premiere at the festival on February 17.
It has been 15 years since an animated film from Asia took part in the Competition section at Berlinale, with the last one being Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.
A dark comedy in the crime genre, Have a Nice Day follows a young man from a little town in South China who steals a bag of money from his boss so his girlfriend can get plastic surgery. The money ends up drawing the attention of several people who all have different motivations for wanting to get their hands on it.
This is Liu's second animated film, his first was Piercing I.
Director Song Chuan's Ciao Ciao and Ghost in the Mountains from director Yang Heng will screen in the Berlinale's Panorama section, while films Ben Niao (The Foolish Bird) directed by Huang Ji and Shi Tou (Stonehead) by Xiang Zhao will be included in the Generation section. Documentary Qiu from director Ma Li has been selected for the Forum section.
ATHENS, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Greece is heading towards a cash crunch as early as late March with no financial lifeline from its international creditors, foreign analysts have forecast in recent weeks.
However, Greek government officials insist the situation is under control, dismissing "speculation" about contrary.
So is the dark shadow of a forthcoming Greek cash crunch a rumor or a reality?
For Greek analysts, there is no smoke without fire, small or large. The risk is not imagined, but following Monday's latest Eurogroup meeting results, there is an increasing glimmer of hope that Greece is getting back on track and any flames will be extinguished in time.
At the Feb. 20 Eurogroup talks, the newly-elected Radical Left government passed a first test by agreeing to a four-month extension of the four-year bailout to stay afloat.
The major challenge now is to implement the proposed reforms Athens put forward in exchange for the release of a portion of the eurozone tranche without delay.
"Should Greek officials fail to do so, public finances will be put under more strain, the moment of truth will come closer, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have to rise to the occasion," analyst Dimitris Kontoyannis, an economics lecturer at the City University of New York, said.
Greece needs to repay about 1.5 billion euros (about 1.61 billion U.S. dollars) to the Interna.