Coens' "True Grit" opens Berlin film festival


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The annual Berlin International Film Festival is opening with Joel and Ethan Coen's multiple-Oscar-nominated Western, "True Grit."

The remake of a John Wayne classic, starring Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld, screens out of competition Thursday.

That opens a varied 10-day program that includes Ralph Fiennes' debut as a director, "Coriolanus," and J.C. Chandor's finance thriller "Margin Call."

A six-member jury under actress Isabella Rossellini will award the festival's top honor, the Golden Bear.

A seat was left symbolically empty Thursday for the jury's official seventh member — Iranian director Jafar Panahi, jailed in his homeland.

Rossellini says inviting Panahi was an "attempt to take a very strong position for freedom of speech and freedom of artists."