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Blonde bombshells kick off Berlin Film Festival

February 5, 2004
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Claudia Schiffer and Faye Dunaway were among the big names who took to the red carpet as the Berlin Film Festival got underway in Germany. The annual event, which ranks alongside Cannes as one of the world's most important cinema gatherings, will welcome a galaxy of stars over the next ten days.

The festival kicked off with Anthony Minghella's Civil War epic Cold Mountain. And when he arrived for the screening the filmmaker said his latest flick, which stars Aussie actress Nicole Kidman and British heart-throb Jude Law, should be seen as an international affair.

"It's not just an American film," said the director. "The content speaks to everyone – it's universal. Maybe it's ironic that so many non-Americans were involved. But that's the beauty of films. No one asked me to show my passport before making it and no one asked to see the actors' passports."

Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, who produced the movie, agreed wholeheartedly with the director. "American films dominate the European box office and I think we should be celebrating this as a European film," he said. "When it comes to films, America benefits 100-to-1."

In the days ahead some 400,000 viewers, 3,500 journalists and 12,000 film rights buyers are expected in Berlin. Twenty-three films from all over the world will compete for the prestigious Golden and Silver Bear prizes.

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Photo: ©
Claudia Schiffer was joined by actress Faye Dunaway at the opening of the festival. Over the next ten days the best films of 2003 will battle it out for the coveted Golden and Silver Bear prizesPhoto: © AFP
Photo: ©
Anthony Minghella turns out for the screening of his new flick Cold Mountain along with wife Carolyn Choa and Irish actor Brendan GleesonPhoto: © AFP

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