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Berlin Film Festival

Idris Elba taps own roots for director debut ‘Yardie’

BERLIN: British actor Idris Elba said he tapped into his own roots growing up among London's West Indian community -- and his DJ experience -- for his directorial debut, "Yardie", shown Thursday at the Berlin film festival. The gangster movie is set in Jamaica in the 1970s and the London neighbourhood of Hackney in 1980s, where Elba grew up as the only child of west African parents. "I was raised in east London and the central character, his journey isn't too dissimilar from most young black boys in England, whether…

Hungarian love story wins top prize at Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN: A Hungarian love story called "On Body and Soul" about two lonely hearts working in a slaughterhouse in Budapest won the Golden Bear for best film on Saturday at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. "This film is approachable only with a generous heart," director Ildiko Enyedi told the audience at the awards ceremony ending the 10-day Berlinale, which showcased 18 films in competition and 403 in sidebar screens. Jury president Paul Verhoeven, a Dutch director and producer, said the seven-member panel had…

Syrian films bring tears and smiles to Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN: One drops you, trapped and powerless, in the middle of a civil war, while the other uses humor to depict what's it like to start a new life in Europe after escaping the same conflict. "Insyriated" and "The Other Side of Hope" are two films about Syria, and they brought tears and smiles to the Berlin Film Festival. The former is shot almost entirely inside the walls of an apartment that becomes like a prison for Oum Yazan, a mother determined to survive a war whose brutality is conveyed mostly through the sounds…