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Berlin Film Festival opens with Hoffman a noted absence


Germany

Berlin Film Festival opens with Hoffman a noted absence

The 64th Berlin Film Festival opened with a muted fanfare on Thursday, with the gala overshadowed by the death this week of celebrated US actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The 46-year-old, who is suspected of overdosing on heroin, was meant to attend the event with “God’s Pocket”.

Jury President and film producer and screenwriter James Schamus said Hoffman would still be there in spirit.

“That news was pretty tough on all of us,” Schamus told a news conference, with all the jury members present.

Wes Anderson’s comedy “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has had its premiere and is one of 20 movies in competition for the festival’s Golden Bear trophy.

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