Berlin Film Festival Announces Line-up, Includes Pixar’s ‘Onward’

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CONJURING DAD – In Disney and Pixar’s “Onward,” brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) are given a special gift from their late father on Ian’s 16th birthday. But when an accompanying spell meant to magically conjure their dad for one day goes awry, they embark on a quest fraught with some of the most unexpected obstacles. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. © 2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Today, the Berlin Film Festival revealed the collection of films that will be screening both in competition and out of competition at this year’s festival. It will mark the 70th year of the event.

The most notable news coming from the festival is that Disney Pixar’s latest “Onward” will have its World Premiere, screening out of competition. The animation has a very familiar cast, including Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer. Pixar is no strangers to the festival, having premiered their short film “The Blue Umbrella” back in 2013.

As per the festival’s official press release, there will be a total of 18 films from 18 different countries competing for the coveted Golden and Silver Bears. There are several recognizable names among those films screening in competition.

“The Roads Not Taken” from the UK has its world premiere, boasting a cast that includes Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hayek, and Laura Linney. Willem Dafoe can be seen in Abel Ferrera’s “Siberia”, whilst American director Kelly Reichardt’s latest feature “First Cow” also debuts. Her previous film “Certain Women” won Best Film at the 2016 London Film Festival and led to her nomination for Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Other notable films screening in competition include South Korea’s “The Woman Who Ran” from Hong Sang-soo, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” from Eliza Hittman, and “Berlin Alexanderplatz” based on the 1929 German novel. Former Silver Bear winner Christian Petzold returns to the festival with “Undine” from Germany and France.

The Golden Bear, the highest prize given at the festival, has acted as a catalyst for an Oscar campaign in recent years. Hungarian drama “On Body and Soul” and Iran’s “A Separation” both went on to receive nominations in the Academy’s Foreign Language category, whilst 2016’s “Fire at Sea” found itself among the Best Documentary Feature line-up that year.

As announced earlier this month, British and Academy Award winning actor Jeremy Irons (“Reversal of Fortune”) will act as Jury President at this year’s festival. It runs from Feb. 20 to March 1, 2020.

Which film are you most excited about from this year’s festival line-up? Let us know in the comments!