Promised Land: Matt Damon's movie about fracking will compete in Berlin film festival
A film intended to be Matt Damon’s directorial debut, but which he handed over to director Gus Van Sant due to scheduling conflicts, is to compete in the Berlin International Film Festival competition.
Promised Land stars Damon as a salesman for a gas company who arrives in a small town trying to persuade locals that hydraulic fracturing of the area’s rock in order to extract shale gas, a practise known as ‘fracking’, is the answer to the economic decline of recent years.
The film also stars Frances McDormand alongside verteran actor Hal Hobrook as a schoolteacher who leads a campaign against fracking – a practise which has potential environmental impacts including ground water contamination, risks to air quality, radioactivity and increased seismic activity.
Director Van Sant was reportedly brought in to direct the movie after Damon decided he didn’t have enough time to prepare for it and act in it. The pair have worked together previously on 1997 Oscar-winner Good Will Hunting.
Promised Land , which is having its international premiere at the Berlin festival, will compete against five other movies in Berlin’s official competition next February. They include productions and co-productions from Austria, Chile, France, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Romania and Spain.
A highlight will be the world premiere of 3D animation The Croods in which characters are voiced by Nicolas Case, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.
There is also anticipation surrounding Paradise: Hope, the final instalment of Austrian director Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy which will also premiere there.
The festival's Korean offering is Nugu-ui Ttal-do Anin Haewon (Nobody's Daughter Haewon) by Night and Day director Hong Sangsoo. Spain’s is Gloria by Sebastián Lelio; and Romania’s entry is Child’s Pose by Călin Peter Netzer.
The Berlinale Special contribution (which isn't in the competition) is documentary Redemption Impossible by Germany’s Christian Rost and Claus Strigel.
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Safe House, TV review: Plenty of teasers to keep us guessing but spare us the cliches
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Avengers Age of Ultron 'after credits' scene leaks online days before cinema release
Louis Tomlinson is launching his own record label and has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments