Since 1986, the Berlin International Film Festival has presented the Berlinale Camera to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks with this award.
As announced previously, Berlinale Cameras are being awarded to French director Claude Chabrol, and German film and television producer Günter Rohrbach (at the Friedrichstadtpalast at 9 pm on Feb. 9). As the Festival would now like to make known, it will also be honouring Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira with a Berlinale Camera this year.
Centenarian Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest active director in the history of film and has been lauded by critics around the globe for films like O Passado e o Presente (Past and Present, 1972) or O Convento (The Convent, 1995). In 1931 he presented his directorial debut, the silent film Douro, Faina Fluvial (Working on the Douro River). Since 1972 he has made a number of auteur films with star-studded casts, for example, with Marcello Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, and Michel Piccoli. Oliveira has screened at many European film festivals and won countless awards. He has been a guest of the Berlinale’s Forum five times – most recently in 1995 with O dia do desespero (The Day of Despair) and A caixa (Blind Man's Bluff).
To mark the world premiere of his latest work, Singularidades de uma rapariga loura (Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl), Manoel de Oliveira has been invited to this year’s Berlinale Special. The Berlin International Film Festival is honouring this master of auteur cinema with the Berlinale Camera for his lifetime achievements. Before the world premiere of his most recent film at the Cinema Paris in the Institut Français at 9:45 pm, on February 10, 2009, Manoel de Oliveira will present himself to the audience with his award which he received earlier.
Since 2004, Düsseldorf goldsmith and artist Georg Hornemann has donated the award, which was redesigned for the Berlinale in 2008. With its 128 components, the Berlinale Camera is modelled on a real camera. Many of its silver and titanium parts, from swivel head to tripod, are movable and crafted with the artistic expertise of a goldsmith.
February 9, 2009