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Berlin film festival kicks off with Django Reinhardt movie

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/9/2017
Paul Verhoeven, president of the Jury of the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, gestures as he poses for media during a photo call at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) © The Associated Press Paul Verhoeven, president of the Jury of the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, gestures as he poses for media during a photo call at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — The curtain is going up on the annual Berlin International Film Festival, with a French film about jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt kicking off the first of the year's major European movie fests.

The Jury of the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, from left, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Jentsch, Paul Verhoeven and Dora Bouchoucha Fourati pose for a group photo during a photo call at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) © The Associated Press The Jury of the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, from left, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Jentsch, Paul Verhoeven and Dora Bouchoucha Fourati pose for a group photo during a photo call at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

"Django," from first-time director Etienne Comar, is the first of 18 movies competing for the festival's top Golden Bear award.

The Jury of the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, from left: Wang Quan'an, Diego Luna, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Jentsch, Paul Verhoeven, Dora Bouchoucha Fourati and Olafur Eliasson pose for a group photo during a photo call at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) © The Associated Press The Jury of the 67th International Berlin Film Festival, from left: Wang Quan'an, Diego Luna, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Jentsch, Paul Verhoeven, Dora Bouchoucha Fourati and Olafur Eliasson pose for a group photo during a photo call at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

This year's diverse program includes Oren Moverman's drama "The Dinner," starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney; a documentary on artist Joseph Beuys by German director Andres Veiel; and British director Sally Potter's "The Party."

A seven-member jury led by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven will announce the winners of the Golden Bear and other honors Feb. 18.

Verhoeven said Thursday he hoped to see diverse and "hopefully controversial" movies, "where we as a jury would really have heated arguments."

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