The International Jury, presided over by Isabella Rossellini, 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 61st Berlinale.
The other members of the Jury are producer Jan Chapman, actress Nina Hoss, actor, producer and director Aamir Khan, director Guy Maddin, costume designer Sandy Powell and director Jafar Panahi.
Isabella Rossellini is one of the most renowned actresses in international cinema. In recent years she has also made her mark as a producer and director. The daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini has played in more than 40 feature films and worked with such directors as Robert Zemeckis, Joel Schumacher, Peter Weir, Abel Ferrara, Peter Greenaway and David Lynch or John Schlesinger, with whom she filmed The Innocent in Berlin in 1992. She celebrated her international breakthrough in 1986 with Lynch’s cult film Blue Velvet. She was a guest at the Berlinale for the first time in 1994 as the leading actress in Fearless. In 2005 she presented the short film My Dad is 100 Years Old, a tribute to her father. She returned in 2007 as narrator to Guy Maddin’s Brand Upon The Brain! and in 2008 she presented her directorial debut Green Porno about the sex life of insects. In autumn 2010, filming was finished on Late Bloomers (Berlinale Special 2011), the romantic comedy directed by Julie Gavras in which Isabella Rossellini stars alongside William Hurt.
Renowned director, author and producer Jafar Panahi made a number of short films and documentaries before he filmed his directorial debut, Badkonake sefid (The White Balloon), which earned him the Camera d’or in Cannes in 1995. In 1997 he won the Golden Leopard in Locarno for Ayneh (The Mirror), and in 2000 the Golden Lion in Venice for Dayereh (The Circle). Offside won the Silver Bear (Grand Prix of the Jury) at the Berlinale in 2006. In his films Jafar Panahi critically examines the social circumstances in his country. Shortly after the Berlinale invited him to be on the International Jury in 2011, Panahi was sentenced to six years imprisonment and banned from filmmaking for the next 20 years. There has been worldwide protest against this verdict that violates the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The Berlinale is holding a place open in the Jury for Jafar Panahi and in doing so wants to signalize its support for his struggle for freedom.
Producer Jan Chapman is an outstanding figure in the Australian film industry. Her first international success came with The Piano (1993), which went on to win three Oscars. Since then she has continued working successfully with director Jane Campion, most recently in 2009 on the historical romantic drama Bright Star. In 1989 she founded her own production company, Jan Chapman Films, and has subsequently produced numerous films with different directors that have been acclaimed by both critics and audiences (Love Serenade, Holy Smoke, Lantana, Somersault). In 2004 she received the “Officer of the Order of Australia” for her contributions to Australian cinema.
The talented German film, television and theatre actress Nina Hoss celebrated her first major success in 1996 in the title role of Bernd Eichinger’s A Girl Called Rosemarie. In 2000 she was one of the Shooting Stars at the Berlinale. Her close collaboration with director Christian Petzold has been extremely successful: she won the 2001 Adolf Grimme Award for her role in his film Something To Remind Me and two years later the Adolf Grimme Award in Gold for Wolfsburg. Her performance of Yella earned her the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2007. Her most recent screen roles include the modern vampire thriller We Are the Night (by Dennis Gansel) and the romantic movie Summer Window (by Hendrik Handloegten).
Aamir Khan is a Bollywood superstar: He rose to overnight fame with the film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988). In 2001 he achieved international success in the drama Lagaan - Once Upon A Time In India which was nominated for an Academy Award. After his directorial debut in 2007 with Taare Zameen Par, Khan starred in the film 3 Idiots which broke all box-office records in his home country. Aamir Khan is also an acclaimed producer: the film satire Peepli Live (2010) was chosen as the Indian entry for an Academy Award nomination. Altogether, four of his last ten films entered the running for an Academy Award nomination.
Filmmaker Guy Maddin, who grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, created a cult classic with his first feature film Tales from the Gimli Hospital of 1988. He has since notched up nine feature films and countless shorts, often integrating stylistic features that draw on the aesthetics of old silent movies and early sound productions. In 2007 he presented his silent movie Brand Upon the Brain! at the Berlinale. It was accompanied by a live orchestra, three Foley artists, a singer and Isabella Rossellini as narrator. In 2008 Guy Maddin opened the Berlinale Forum with My Winnipeg. For this tribute to his Canadian hometown he combined documentary footage with family photos and old film excerpts.
Trained in London, Sandy Powell designs costumes for film, theatre, dance and opera. She works on outstanding productions designing costumes for the most diverse historical epochs. To date she has been nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards. She won the first of three Oscars for her work on the film Shakespeare In Love (1999). Her costumes for Martin Scorsese’s biopic The Aviator brought her a second Academy Award in 2005. Most recently she was honoured for her work on the film The Young Victoria (2010). In addition she has been nominated nine times for the BAFTA, and took home the award twice, for Velvet Goldmine in 1999 and The Young Victoria in 2010.
Source: Berlin Film festival