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Wong Kar Wai to head Berlin jury

Festival runs Feb. 7-17

BERLIN — The Berlin Film Festival has tapped Chinese director Wong Kar Wai as next year’s president of the international jury.

Festival topper Dieter Kosslick described Wong as “one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. His distinctive signature and the poetry of his works have fascinated all of us. For him to become jury president is a wish come true.”

Wong said, “I am truly honored by Dieter’s invitation. I am also very happy to return to Berlin and see the latest work of filmmakers from all over the world. It would be a fulfilling experience for any cineaste.”

Wong, a Shanghai native who grew up in Hong Kong, made his directorial debut in 1988 with “As Tears Go By.” Wong has had two films screen in the Berlinale’s Forum sidebar, 1991’s “Days of Being Wild” and “Fallen Angels” in 1996. He achieved his international breakthrough with “Chungking Express” in 1994.

Other notable works include “Happy Together,” which won Wong the best director award in Cannes in 1997; 2000’s “In the Mood for Love”; and “2046,” which won a European Film Award for best non-European film in 2004.

The director’s 2007 drama “My Blueberry Nights,” starring Jude Law, Norah Jones and Natalie Portman, was his first film shot in the U.S. and cast with Hollywood stars.

Wong, who served as jury president at Cannes in 2006, is working on “The Grandmasters,” featuring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang.

The Berlinale runs Feb. 7-17.

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