Renee Zellweger joins Berlinale jury

Ben Foster to judge best first feature award

BERLIN — Renee Zellweger and Ben Foster (“The Messenger”) have been called to jury duty at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Zellweger joins jury head Werner Herzog and five others who will decide the winners of the main competition.

They are Spain’s Jose Maria Morales, producer of last year’s Golden Bear winner “Milk of Sorrow”; Chinese actress Yu Nan, who starred in the 2008 Golden Bear winner “Tuya’s Marriage”; Italian writer-director Francesca Comencini, whose “White Space” unspooled in competition at the Venice Film Festival last year; German actress Cornelia Froboess; and Somali writer Nuruddin Farah.

Foster is serving on the jury for best first feature in the main sections — Competition, Panorama, Forum and Generation Kplus and 14plus.

German filmmaker Michael Verhoeven, who presented his debut feature, “The Dance of Death,” at the Berlinale in 1967, will head that jury.

Also onboard is producer Lorna Tee, who heads Hong Kong-based Asian investment fund Irresistible Films and Malaysian shingle Paperheart.

While the Berlinale celebrates its 60th anniversary, the fest’s avant-garde and experimental Forum sidebar turns 40. As part of the celebration, it’s presenting a showcase of 12 past screeners selected by 12 filmmakers whose pics unspooled in the section.

Representing the four decades, the titles include David Gordon Green’s 2000 drama “George Washington,” about kids who try to cover up a tragic mistake; Aki Kaurismaki’s 1989 Finnish drama “The Match Factory Girl”; Michael Snow’s 1982 Canadian title “So Is This”; Sharon Lockhart’s 2003 pic “No,” a landscape portrait of a Japanese farm shot in real time; and Scottish helmer Bill Douglas’ biographical trilogy from the 1970s, “My Childhood,” “My Ain Folk” and “My Way Home.”

The Berlinale runs Feb. 11-21.

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