Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Berlinale, 11. - 21. February 2010: International Jury

The International Jury, presided over by Werner Herzog, will decide who is to take home the Golden Bear and the Silver Bears as well as the Alfred Bauer Prize in the Competition of the Berlinale 2010. The Berlinale Bears represent the symbol of the City of Berlin - the bear. The gold and silver statuettes were designed by the German artist and sculptress Renee Sintenis (1888 - 1965). The Alfred Bauer Prize, named after German film-historian and co-founder of the Berlinale, Alfred Bauer, is awarded for the Best First Feature Film.

Other members of the Jury include, in alphabetical order, Francesca Comencini, Nuruddin Farah, Cornelia Froboess, José Maria Morales, Yu Nan and Renée Zellweger.

As one of the most significant personalities of New German Cinema, Werner Herzog has influenced an entire generation of filmmakers. In his almost 50-year career, Herzog has made over 50 feature and documentary films, amongst them Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982, Silver Palm in Cannes for Best Director), Grizzly Man (2005) and Encounters at the End of the World (2007), for which he received an Oscar nomination. Werner Herzog has been honoured with numerous awards from major international film festivals; for his debut feature film Signs of Life he was awarded a Silver Bear for the best first film at the Berlinale 1968.

The talented Italian director and writer Francesca Comencini was 23 when she made her first film Pianoforte which won her the Best First Feature award at the Venice Film Festival in 1985. She has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival with The Words of my Father and the documentary Carlo Giuliani, ragazzo (Carlo Giuliani, Boy). In 2004, she was awarded the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury in Berlin for I like to Work (Mobbing). Her latest work Lo spazio bianco (White Space) celebrated its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2009.

Nuruddin Farah is one of modern Africa’s most important writers. His first novel “From a Crooked Rib” (1970) already made him internationally famous. Farah’s works, which often depict the search for social and family identity, have been translated into more than 20 languages. In 1998 he was awarded the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His latest novel “Knots”, published in 2007, is the second part of a trilogy about Farah’s home country, Somalia.

After her rise to fame as a child singer, Cornelia Froboess became one of Germany’s most popular and versatile stage and screen actresses. She has received numerous prizes and awards in her career, including the Ernst Lubitsch Award for her role as Claire in the screen adaptation of Tucholsky’s Rheinsberg (1967). In 1982, she also starred in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (Veronika Voss).

Renowned Spanish producer José Maria Morales has made over 50 films with directors such as Arturo Ripstein, Costa Gavras and Goran Paskaljevic. In 2001, he presented Lucrecia Martel’s La ciénaga (The Swamp) in the Berlinale Competition. In 2004, this was followed by the powerful story of a family, El Abrazo Partido (Lost Embrace), by Argentinian director Daniel Burman, which won the Jury Grand Prix. Claudia Llosa’s moving drama La Teta Asustada (The Milk of Sorrow) won the Golden Bear in 2009.

Actress Yu Nan, who is hailed in her homeland of China as an “arthouse queen”, has played many compelling female characters (Lunar Eclipse, The Story of Er Mei) and received many awards for her portrayal of them. For her role in Tuya de hun shi (Tuya’s Marriage), which won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2008, she was awarded the prize for best actress at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, she also starred in Speed Racer, a Hollywood action film made in Babelsberg.

The internationally renowned Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger, who was born in Texas, began her film career with such acclaimed projects as Jerry Maguire, A Price Above Rubies and Nurse Betty. She celebrated international success with audiences and critics alike playing the leading role in the romantic comedy Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Lead Actress and the follow-up Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). Zellweger shone with her brilliant performance in the 2003 Berlinale opening film Chicago for which she also received an Academy Award nomination for Lead Actress and in the 2004 Competition entry Cold Mountain, which won her an Academy Award.

Source: Berlin Film Festival