62nd Berlinale Opens With 'Farewell My Queen'

Jury members Jake Gyllenhaal, Mike Leigh, and festival director Dieter Kosslick attend the Opening Ceremony of the Berlinale. i i

Jury members Jake Gyllenhaal, Mike Leigh, and festival director Dieter Kosslick attend the Opening Ceremony of the Berlinale. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Jury members Jake Gyllenhaal, Mike Leigh, and festival director Dieter Kosslick attend the Opening Ceremony of the Berlinale.

Jury members Jake Gyllenhaal, Mike Leigh, and festival director Dieter Kosslick attend the Opening Ceremony of the Berlinale.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The 62nd Berlinale opened with a gala at the Berlinale Palast and the world premiere of "Farewell my Queen."

International stars walked down the red carpet at subzero temperatures, cheered by film fans who endured the cold for hours just to get a glimpse at the celebrities.

Earlier that day, the International Jury faced questions from the press.

This year's Jury President, British filmmaker, Mike Leigh, even spoke about the weather.

"I really enjoy and celebrate it for it's spirit, it's atmosphere,it's informality and enjoyment of things. i think it's helped by the fact that it takes place in the middle of the winter and it's always very cold here. I think that informs the spirit hugely."

Mike Leigh is surrounded by an interesting group of creatives. Jury members include German actress, Barbara Sukowa, Algerian writer, Boulam Sansal, French director and screenwriter Francois Ozon, actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dutch photographer turned film maker Anton Corbijn.

"I am very much the new kid on the block here and I am just learning about films, Corbijn says. "So, I think it's fantastic to be with this great group of people discussing film."

The Jury also includes last year's Golden Globe recipient, Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and one member from the US, actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who like all the members of the Jury, were charmed by festival director, Dieter Kosslick:

Diane Kruger's new film, Farewell My Queen, was screened at this year's Berlinale. i i

Diane Kruger's new film, Farewell My Queen, was screened at this year's Berlinale. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Diane Kruger's new film, Farewell My Queen, was screened at this year's Berlinale.

Diane Kruger's new film, Farewell My Queen, was screened at this year's Berlinale.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

"You know it's hard not to be excited when Dieter calls you," Gyllenhaal says, "because he is perpetually excited. His personality is infectious, so obviously when I found out, I was just as excited as Dieter."

Especially nervous on the opening day was Diane Kruger. The German-born actress, who is a household name in Hollywood, stars in the Berlinale's opening film Farewell my Queen. The film is also in the main competition. Kruger, who plays Marie Antoinette, drew some parallels to the French Queen of Austrian heritage.

"What I've learned in France and coming to know a culture as a foreigner, especially as a German, it's very similar what she must have gone through and to be in Versailles and to play that part I can't really put my finger on it. I got goose bumps when I read the script. I was born on July 15th and my mother's name is Maria-Theresa."

The film starts with with the 14th of July, 1789, Bastille Day following the early days of the French revolution through the eyes of Marie Antoinette's servants at Versailles. But it's not so much a movie about political uprising as it is the story of one maid's devotion to her Queen.

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