Chinese director Wong Kar-wai (center), who is also the jury president of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, poses with members of the international jury (from left to right) Susanne Bier, Tim Robbins, Shirin Neshat, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Andreas Dresen, and Ellen Kuras prior to the opening ceremony on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. The festival runs from February 7 to 17. Wong Kar-wai's film "The Grandmaster" will be the opening film. [Photo: Joerg Carstensen/CFP]
The 63rd Berlin film festival opens today with a gala screening of Chinese director Wong Kar Wai's martial arts epic "The Grandmaster."
The film about the mentor of kung fu superstar Bruce Lee.
The film stars Hong Kong heart-throb Tony Leung, who became an international star in Wong's 2000 hit "In the Mood for Love", and Beijing-born "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star Zhang Ziyi.
Wong is also leading the seven-member jury for this year's awards.
New movies from directors Steven Soderbergh and Gus Van Sant, plus a trio of films starring French divas, will be competing at the event.
Van Sant's film about the shale gas industry, "Promised Land," starring Matt Damon, and Soderbergh's thriller "Side Effects," featuring Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones, are the most prominent U.S. offerings.
A selection of 19 movies, including films from Kazakhstan and Iran, will vie for the main prize at Europe's first major film festival of the year.
The event will last for eleven days.
Last year's Golden Bear went to "Caesar Must Die" by Italy's Paolo and Vittorio Taviani.
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