Berlin festival opens with Marie Antoinette drama

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BERLIN (AP) — The annual Berlin film festival is opening with a costume drama set at the beginning of the French revolution — the first of 18 movies competing at the event.

"Farewell My Queen," from French director Benoit Jacquot and starring Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette, was making its debut at the start of the 11-day event on Thursday, the first of the year's major European film festivals.

An eight-member jury led by British director Mike Leigh will choose this year's winner of the Golden Bear, the festival's top prize, and other awards.

The jury also includes actor Jake Gyllenhaal and Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of last year's winning film, "A Separation."

Leigh says he enjoys the midwinter Berlin festival for "its spirit, its atmosphere, its informality."

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