Entertainment & Arts

Matt Damon fracking film to screen at Berlin festival

John Krasinski, Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon
Image caption Krasinski (left) and Damon (right) play rivals in the film, directed by Gus Van Sant (centre)

Matt Damon's film about the controversial shale gas industry is to screen in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Promised Land, directed by Gus Van Sant, centres on a natural gas salesman who experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town.

Damon and Van Sant previously worked together on the 1997 Oscar-winning drama, Good Will Hunting.

Six films will compete in Berlin's official competition in February, 2013.

There will be a world premiere for Paradise: Hope, the final instalment of Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy, while 3D animation film The Croods, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, will screen out of competition.

Also in the main competition is Gloria, directed by Chilean film maker Sebastian Lelio; Romanian entry Child's Pose by Calin Peter Netzer; and Nobody's Daughter Haewon, a Korean entry directed by Hong Sangsoo.

The documentary Redemption Impossible, about the fate of chimpanzees used for testing Aids vaccines, features in the Berlinale Special category.

Promised Land, which was co-written by Damon and John Krasinski who starred in the US version of The Office, has raised concerns over the environmental impact of fracking.

According to reports, Damon was originally down to direct the movie, which looks into the process of extracting gas by pumping a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into a well at high pressure.

The film, which also stars Fargo's Frances McDormand, is having its international premiere at the Berlin festival.

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