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25 Feb 11

Ralph Fiennes to Open Belgrade Film Festival

Oscar contenders dominate the lineup at this year's International Film Festival FEST in Belgrade.

Andrej Klemencic

The British actor and director is to open the International Film Festival FEST in Belgrade, which runs from February 25 to March 6.

Among the most eagerly anticipated showings will be "Black Swan", "The King's Speech" and Fiennes’ own directorial debut, "Coriolanus", which will open the festival.

The modern adaptation of "Coriolanus" which, beside Fiennes, stars Gerald Butler and Vanessa Redgrave, was shot last year in Belgrade.

This year's Oscar contenders feature heavily on the FEST list. "The King's Speech" by Tom Hopper, starring Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth, tells the little-known story of how Britain's George VI overcame a crippling stammer, which was preventing him from making a vital broadcast to the nation at the start of the Second World War.

"True Grit" is a Coen Brothers remake of a classic Western. After conquering film critics and winning Oscars in 2007 with "No Country for Old Men", it shows Jeff Bridges being sent to hunt down a particularly rough criminal in the brutal Wild West.

The winner of Venice Film Festival, Sofia Coppola's small budget film "Somewhere", tackles issues of alienation in modern Hollywood through the relationship of a film star to his daughter.

"Of Gods and Men", set in Algeria, portrays a fragile religious harmony that threatens to yield to the pressure of increasing terrorist activity in the region. The film won the Cannes Film Festival.

One of this year's most praised films, Darren Aronofski's horror drama "Black Swan", shows a New York ballerina, played by Natalie Portman, traveling to the dark side, where she tries to find her alter ego to give her the edge that her dancing lacks.

FEST will also show seven films in the festival's only competition programme, "Europe Out of Europe". The films will be shown at the Sava Centar, the DKC hall and in Belgrade's Dom Omladine.

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