Mike Leigh (United Kingdom)
Mike Leigh has made a name for himself as one of the most outstanding filmmakers of auteur cinema and protagonists of New British Cinema. Leigh portrays British society in a bluntly realistic but humorous manner. His films have received countless international awards and Oscar nominations. Trained as an actor, dramatist and screenwriter, he has directed more than 20 films, including Bleak Moments (1972, Golden Leopard in Locarno), Naked (1993, Award for Best Director in Cannes), Secrets and Lies (1996, Palme d’Or in Cannes) and Vera Drake (2004, Golden Lion in Venice).
Nominated for several Oscars, director Mike Leigh has been invited several times to different sections of the Berlin International Film Festival: Meantime screened in the Forum in 1984; the short film The Short and Curlies, in the Panorama in 1988; as did Life Is Sweet in 1991. His latest contribution was to the Competition in 2008: his social comedy Happy-Go-Lucky featured Sally Hawkins, who won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.