Tim Robbins, Danish director Susanne Bier, Germany’s Andreas Dresen, and U.S. helmer and cinematographer Ellen Kuras are among the high-profile names joining Wong Kar Wai on the international jury of the Berln Film Festival, which runs Feb. 7-17.
Wong is presiding over the jury, which will bestow the Golden and Silver Bear to competition titles.
It won’t be Robbins’ first time at the fest — he picked up a slew of awards at the 1996 Berlinale with “Dead Man Walking.”
Bier’s credits include “In a Better World,” which won the foreign-language film Oscar, and Pierce Brosnan-starrer “All You Need Is Love,” which bowed last year at the Venice Film Festival. She is finishing “Serena,” featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.
Dresen grabbed international attention with 2002’s “Grill Point,” which won the Berlinale’s Silver Bear. His last film, “Stopped on Track,” swept last year’s German Film Awards and picked up Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize.
Kuras has worked with the late Ted Demme (“Blow”), Rebecca Miller (“The Ballad of Jack and Rose”), Spike Lee (“Summer of Sam”) and Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”). She is developing a script to direct about silent film star Wally Reid.
Also serving on the jury will be Iranian filmmaker Shirin Neshat, who won a Silver Lion in Venice for her drama “Women Without Men” in 2010, and who is working on her second feature, a portrait of the Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum; and Greek helmer-producer Athina Rachel Tsangari, whose credits include “Dogtooth,” “Attenberg,” “Pearblossom Hwy” and “Before Midnight,” which is showing out of competition at the Berlinale. Tsangari is working on the sci-fi comedy “Duncharon.”
The fest also announced that actress-director Isabella Rossellini and filmmaker-writer Rosa von Praunheim will be awarded Berlinale Cameras, which the fest bestows on film personalities or institutions to which it feels indebted and wishes to thank.
Rossellini’s “Mammas” will preem at the fest in Forum Expanded, and she also stars in Vincent Bal’s “The Zigzag Kid,” which plays in the Generation section. Von Praunheim is a pioneer of the gay movement in Germany. The docu “Rosakinder,” which is a cinematic homage to him, will screen at the fest.
In related news, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund has secured further funding from the German Cultural Foundation (KSB) until 2018.
Jointly launched in 2004 by the Berlinale, the KSB and the Goethe Institute with support from the German Federal Foreign Office, the fund, with an annual budget of some $540,000, supports filmmakers in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, and the Caucasus.
WCF-backed films regularly unspool at the Berlinale and other major fests. This year, Emir Baigazin’s “Harmony Lessons” will become the first Kazakh film to screen in competition in Berlin, and Jose Luis Valle’s Mexican title “Workers” will be shown in Panorama.