When the 66th Berlin International Film Festival opens its doors Thursday evening, there will be a touch of Hollywood in the air of the German capital once again, and even more than last year.
The lineup of stars expected to attend the annual 10-day Berlinale is impressive, including the French actor Gérard Depardieu, the British actress Tilda Swinton and the American movie stars Julianne Moore and Kirsten Dunst.
Fellow American George Clooney will also walk down the red carpet in front of the Berlinale Palace with his wife Amal Alamuddin to watch the opening film, Hail, Caesar. It’s a tribute to Tinseltown’s 1950s golden age by the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, in which Mr. Clooney also stars.
Hollywood legend Meryl Streep will serve as president of the Berlinale jury, judging 18 contenders from around the world. That’s a first for Ms. Streep, who despite winning three Oscars and being nominated by the Academy 19 times has never sat on a film festival jury in her long and distinguished career.
In recent years, the Berlinale has secured some of the most vaunted names in the industry to head its jury, including the German filmmaker Werner Herzog, the Austrian actor Christoph Waltz and Mike Leigh, the English writer and director.
It is one of Europe’s three big film festivals along with Cannes and Venice, and is known for showcasing films focused on political and social issues. It often awards films not only for their cinematic excellence, but also for their worthy causes.