The world premiere of the North Pole-set adventure movie Nobody Wants the Night starring French actress Juliette Binoche kicked off the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday (5 February).
Festival director Dieter Kosslick and this year's Jury President, US-director Darren Aronofsky, opened the "Berlinale" at the end of the opening gala at Potsdamer Platz in the heart of the German capital.
Berlin is one of the world's oldest film showcases and has a proud tradition of screening movies with political agendas.
"The Berlinale is and has always been a political festival and also this year on behalf of its 65th birthday the festival puts an emphasis on politics", German Cultural Minister Monika Gruetters said.
"The fact that we will see Jafar Panahi's film "Taxi" tomorrow as part of the official competition cannot be taken for granted. I approve that you, dear Dieter Kosslick, keep saying, you will invite Jafar Panahi every year till he finally will be allowed to come to the festival at last," she added.
Iranian director Jafar Panahi was invited to the Berlin film festival various times, but was banned and forbidden from making films in Iran.
But the main purpose of the red carpet was to introduce the cast and crew of the opening film Nobody Wants the Night, an Arctic survival movie about two women, the wife of North Pole explorer Robert Peary and an Inuit fighting for their lives together in a snowbound shack.
Juliette Binoche plays the lead of the movie, Josephine Peary, but said that even though she was in the spotlight tonight, it wasn't something that she revels in.
Coixet's film was the first to be shown of 19 that are in contention for the main Golden Bear prize awarded on 14 February.