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Berlinale announces juries of 70th edition’s competitions

English actor Jeremy Irons will head the jury of the main competition


The 70th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) announced all its competitions’ juries last Friday.

Once again, a multitalented international jury will decide who will take home the Golden and Silver Bears at the Berlinale 2020. This year, there are 18 films competing at the festival. The winners will be announced at the Berlinale Palast on 29 February.

English actor Jeremy Irons will head the jury of the main competition. The other members of the jury are actress Bérénice Bejo (Argentina / France); producer Bettina Brokemper (Germany); director Annemarie Jacir (Palestine); playwright and filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan (USA); actor Luca Marinelli (Italy); and programmer, film critic, and director Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil).

Meet the Jury

  • Bérénice Bejo (Argentina / France)

Born in Argentina, Bérénice Bejo moved to France at the age of three. Her acting career started in 2000 with Meilleur espoir féminin (Most Promising Young Actress) by Gérard Jugnot. She had her international breakthrough in 2011 as the lead in the Academy Award winner The Artist (2011), directed by Michel Hazanavicius. For this role, she was awarded the César as Best Actress and received recognition and awards worldwide, including a nomination for a BAFTA for Best Actress and a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes and Oscars.

Bejo is also known for her work in Le passé (The Past, 2013) by Asghar Farhadi for which she won the Palme d’Or for Best Actress. Her filmography also involves The Childhood of a Leader (2015) by Brady Corbet, Éternité (Eternity, 2016) by Trn Anh Hùng, L’économie du couple (After Love, 2016) by Joachim Lafosse, and Fai bei sogni (Sweet Dreams, 2016) by Marco Bellocchio. Currently, she’s working on two new project Un drago a forma di nuvola by Sergio Castellitto and Shake Your Cares Away by Tom Shoval.

  • Bettina Brokemper (Germany)

After studying production and media business at the University of Television and Film (HFF) in Munich and a longer stay in Los Angeles, Bettina Brokemper established herself as a producer in Cologne, Germany in 2001. Two years later, she – along with Helmut Hartl and Stefan Telegdy – founded Heimatfilm, a production company for film and TV in Cologne. The company’s productions include the Berlinale winner Bal (Honey, 2010) by Semih Kaplanoğlu; Margarethe von Trotta’s worldwide success, Hannah Arendt (2012); Nicolette Krebitz’s Wild (2015), which was highly acclaimed in Sundance; and most recently, Jan Bonny’s Wintermärchen (Germany. A Winter’s Tale, 2018), which premiered in Locarno.

Furthermore, as managing director of Zentropa Köln, Brokemper, who has often taught at various film schools and was awarded the Prix Eurimages in 2008, has been co-producing all of Lars von Trier’s films since Dogville (2003). She has also worked with many other directors, including Eran Riklis, Christoph Hochhäusler, Małgorzata Szumowska, and Rupert Everett.

  • Annemarie Jacir (Palestine)

With her first full-length fiction film, Milh Hadha al-Bahr (Salt of This Sea), Annemarie Jacir was invited to take part in the official programme of the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. Her short film Ka’inana Ashrun Mustaheel (Like Twenty Impossibles, 2003) was screened there five years earlier, making it the first short film in Arabic ever selected in Cannes. Her second feature film, Lamma shoftak (When I Saw You), premiered at the Berlinale Forum in 2013 and won the NETPAC award for Best Asian Film. Another film Wajib (Duty) was in the Locarno competition in 2017. All three of these films were selected as Palestinian entries for an Oscar.

With a commitment to teaching and hiring locally, Jacir founded Philistine Films – a production company based in Palestine and Jordan – and collaborates regularly with fellow filmmakers as an editor, screenwriter, and producer. In 2018, she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served on the Un Certain Regard jury in Cannes. Jacir recently co-founded the Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research, an artist-run space in her hometown of Bethlehem.

  • Kenneth Lonergan (USA)

Kenneth Lonergan is an American playwright and filmmaker best known for writing and directing Manchester by the Sea (2016), which garnered over 200 international nominations and awards, including an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Screenplay in 2016. His other films, Margaret (2011, extended version 2012) and You Can Count on Me (2000), received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Screenplay. He is the co-writer of Gangs of New York (2002), which received international recognition with multiple awards and nominations including an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. Lonergan’s work for the theatre have made it to Broadway, Off Broadway, and internationally.

His plays This Is Our Youth (1996), Lobby Hero (2001), and The Waverly Gallery (2000) all appeared on Broadway between 2016-2019, each nominated in turn for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. His play The Starry Messenger was produced on the West End in London in 2019. Other works for television include the teleplay for the 2017 BBC mini-series adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Howards End.

  • Luca Marinelli (Italy)

After graduating from the renowned Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Drammatica Silvio D’Amico in Rome and the first theatre engagement with Carlo Cecchi, Luca Marinelli played a leading screen role for the first time in Saverio Costanzo’s La solitudine dei numeri primi (The Solitude of Prime Numbers), which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2010. For Tutti i Santi Giorni (Every Blessed Day) by Paolo Virzi, he was nominated for many important Italian film prizes in 2013. Earlier that year, he had been honoured as a European Shooting Star at the Berlinale.

Marinelli’s other standout roles were in several films, such as Claudio Caligari’s Non essere cattivo (Don’t Be Bad), which represented Italy at the Oscars in 2016; Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They Call Me Jeeg) by Gabriele Mainetti, winning the David di Donatello Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2016; and Una questione privata (A Private Affair) by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani with its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2017. Most recently, he excelled under the direction of Pietro Marcello in Martin Eden, for which he won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival in 2019.

  • Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil)

In the 1990s, while still working full-time as a programmer, film critic, and journalist for various media, Kleber Mendonça Filho began making his own short films. For Crítico, his documentary debut feature, the Recife-born Brazilian filmmaker gave 70 directors and critics a chance to speak their minds. O Som ao Redor (Neighbouring Sounds), Mendonça Filho’s first fiction feature film, had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2012 and was Brazil’s entry for an Oscar.

The film has been shown at over 100 festivals. The New York Times listed it as one of the ten best films of the year. Four years later, Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga, was invited to participate in the competition in Cannes. The film was sold to more than 100 countries and was nominated for a César and an Independent Spirit Award. In 2019, Bacurau, Mendonça Filho’s most recent work, co-directed and co-written with Juliano Dornelles, screened in the competition in Cannes and won the Jury Prize. He is also the artistic director at the Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife.

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