Coens' True Grit to open Berlin film fest

True Grit, the remake of the classic John Wayne western by Joel and Ethan Coen, has been tapped to open the Berlin International Film Festival.
Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld star in True Grit, the remake of the classic John Wayne western by Joel and Ethan Coen. ((Lorey Sebastian/Paramount Pictures))

True Grit, the remake of the classic John Wayne western by Joel and Ethan Coen, has been tapped to open the Berlin International Film Festival.

The new film will kick off the 2011 festival on Feb. 10, organizers announced from Berlin on Wednesday. The screening will be the international premiere for True Grit, which opens in North America on Dec. 22.

"Joel and Ethan Coen stand for first-rate American independent cinema. With their penchant for irony, and off-the-wall characters and stories, they have repeatedly captivated audiences," Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement.

"True Grit is a wonderful way to kick off the Berlinale 2011."

Ethan and Joel Coen are expected to attend the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, where True Grit will be the opening film. ((Jeff Christensen/Associated Press))
Screening out of competition at the festival, True Grit stars Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld. It tells the story of a teenage girl who enlists a marshal to help her track down the drifter who murdered her father.

The Coens' visit to Berlin will mark a return to the Berlinale with Bridges. The Oscar-winning sibling filmmakers brought The Big Lebowski, the cult comedy starring Bridges as a slacker dubbed The Dude, to compete at the German film festival in 1998.

The brothers' films have also included Blood Simple, Fargo, Miller's Crossing, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men and A Serious Man.

The 61st Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 10 to Feb. 20, 2011. Organizers previously announced that Italian-American actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini would preside over the jury.

With files from The Associated Press