Actor Ralph Fiennes, seen in London in December, makes his directorial debut with Coriolanus, screening in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival. ((Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images))

Ralph Fiennes' debut as a director and a tribute to Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi are among the highlights of the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival.

On Tuesday, organizers of the 61st Berlinale announced the complete program for this year's event, which runs Feb. 10-20.

"There's a bit of appetite for discovery in this, of course, for seeing something different — different approaches to how young people, above all, make films," said festival director Dieter Kosslick.

British actor Fiennes both stars and directs Coriolanus,  a Shakespearean tragedy about a banished, prideful Roman general who seeks revenge against the city that exiled him.

Overall, 16 films will compete for the festival's top prize, the Golden Bear. Other contenders include:

  • A Torinoi Lo (The Turin Horse), director Bela Tarr.
  • Bizim Buyuk Caresizligimiz (Our Grand Despair), Seyfi Teoman.
  • El premio (The Prize), Paula Markovitch.
  • Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader and Simin, A Separation), Asghar Farhadi.
  • Les contes de la nuit (Tales Of The Night), Michel Ocelot.
  • Lipstikka, Jonathan Sagall.
  • Margin Call, J.C. Chandor.
  • Saranghanda, Saranghaji Anneunda (Come Rain Come Shine), Lee Yoon-ki.
  • Schlafkrankheit (Sleeping Sickness), Ulrich Koehler.
  • The Forgiveness of Blood, Joshua Marston.
  • The Future, Miranda July.
  • Un Mundo Misterioso (A Mysterious World), Rodrigo Moreno.
  • V Subbotu (Innocent Saturday), Alexander Mindadze.
  • Wer wenn nicht wir (If Not Us, Who?), Andres Veiel.
  • Yelling To The Sky, Victoria Mahoney.

Isabella Rossellini presides over the 2011 competition jury.

As previously announced, Joel and Ethan Coen's western remake True Grit will open the festival and screen out of competition.

Canadian entries include the shorts Green Crayons by Kazik Radwansk and Woman Waiting by Antoine Bourges and Spike Jonze's Arcade Fire film Scenes From The Suburbs

The Canadian Embassy and Berlin's Filmhaus will screen a selection of Hauntings – videos about ghosts and the history of film shot by Winnipeg's Guy Maddin that were commissioned by the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Berlinale will also see the following titles screen out of competition:

  • Almanya, Yasemin Samdereli.
  • Les femmes du 6eme etage (Service Entrance), Philippe Le Guay.
  • Mein bester Freund (My Best Enemy), Wolfgang Murnberger.
  • Unknown, Jaume Collet-Serra.

This year's festival will also feature 3D films for the first time: Pina, the dance film and tribute to late German choreographer Pina Bausch by longtime friend director Wim Wenders, and French director Ocelot's  Tales Of The Night, a collection of fairy tales explored with silhouette animation.


Iranian director Jafar Panahi won a Silver Bear at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival for his film Offside. ((Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters))

Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi had been invited to serve on the jury for the 2011 events. However, the dissident filmmaker was sentenced to prison by Iranian authorities for conspiring against the ruling system.

He was barred from leaving the country, making films or talking to media for the next 20 years.

Berlin organizers are among the chorus of international voices protesting the sentence.

The festival will pay tribute to Panahi and call attention to his oeuvre by showcasing five of his films, including 2006 Silver Bear-winner Offside.

Organizers will also present German acting icon Armin Mueller-Stahl with an honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement and celebrate the works of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, who died in 2007.