The 67th Berlin International Film Festival, the Berlinale, opened Thursday with screening of the French film "Django".
A directorial debut by French film producer Etienne Comar, the film tells the fleeing story of Django Reinhardt, a legendary gypsy guitarist and composer, who is harassed and hounded by the Nazi Germany in 1943.
"Django" has drawn wide attention from media and film critics as this year's opening film.
"Django Reinhardt was one of the most brilliant pioneers of European jazz and the father of Gypsy Swing. Django grippingly portrays one chapter in the musician's eventful life and is a poignant tale of survival," said Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
A total of 24 films from around the world have been selected for the competition section of the program this year, among which 18, including "Django", will run for the Golden Bear prize for the best film, and the Silver Bear prizes for individual achievements, including best director, best actor and actress, and best script, among others.
A seven-member jury led by Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven will make its decisions on Feb. 18.
The festival runs until Feb. 19, during which a total of 399 films from 72 countries and regions will be screened and a series of cultural events will be held.