Stars steer clear of revolt in Berlin
Where last year Chicago filled the red carpet with the Hollywood A-List, this year Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger failed to show, despite their film Cold Mountain opening the festival.
The event's start was held up by over an hour when student protesters charged the Berlinale Palast venue before the opening-night gala.
The students were demonstrating against the Berlin state government's plans to cut funding to higher education. They pushed past a under-protected side door and poured the entrance hall of the Palast theatre.
Those celebrities that did make it watched nervously before a line of German police drove the demonstrators outside.
Festival frontman Dieter Kosslick lambasted protesters saying: "That's stupid . . . The foreign guests won't understand what it is about, they will think we are rioters throwing things."
The festival has drawn some big names, with Claudia Schiffer there at the opening; and Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Peter Fonda, Cate Blanchett, Tim Roth, Charlize Theron and director Ron Howard expected to put in an appearance before the close.
The Berlin International Film Festival runs to February 15th .
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