Hail, Caesar! by Academy Award winning director duo Joel and Ethan Coen opened the 66th Berlin International Film Festival today.
The opening ceremony gathered many stars including the festival jury's head US actress Meryl Streep and 'Hail, Caesar!' cast.
This year 18 of the 23 films are in the competition’s programme. They will be vying for the Golden and Silver Bears with 19 of them having their world premieres at Berlinale.
Among the most-anticipated pictures this year is "Genius", the feature debut by British theatre director Michael Grandage starring Oscar winner Firth as literary editor Max Perkins, who published some of the 20th century's greatest American writers.
Also generating buzz ahead of the festival is a new adaptation of the international bestseller "Alone in Berlin", Hans Fallada's 1947 novel which is based on a true story.
Also in the main line-up are two documentaries, Alex Gibney's "Zero Days" about the threat posed by cybersecurity breaches, and "Fire at Sea" by Italian director Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Venice film festival's 2013 Golden Lion.
Refugees will play a major role on screen and off at the Berlinale, which began as a Cold War-era window on the world for embattled West Berlin.
More than a dozen films in the festival's sprawling sidebar sections will focus on people fleeing war and repression, while organisers have planned a range of initiatives to help asylum seekers, 1.1 million of whom arrived in Germany last year.
The festival will run until 21 February
Text: Reuters and Ahram Online