Berlinale: Juries


Juries 2017

International Jury

Paul Verhoeven (Netherlands)

The Dutch director and screenwriter Paul Verhoeven began his directing career in 1969 with the successful Dutch television series Floris. After his feature film debut Business is Business in 1971, came the erotic thriller Turkish Delight in 1973, a big hit in the Netherlands that also garnered a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1974 Academy Awards. Following his international breakthrough Soldier of Orange (1977) and The Fourth Man (1983), Paul Verhoeven moved to Hollywood to focus on an evolution of style in his work. Large productions featuring lots of action and special effects, like RoboCop (1987), and especially Total Recall (1990), were big box-office hits that revolutionised the science fiction film genre while maintaining credibility as auteur films. The provocative, erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992), which was nominated for two Academy Awards, saw Paul Verhoeven return to themes prevalent in his Dutch works. In 1997 and 2000, he once again focused on science fiction with Starship Troopers and Hollow Man. After nearly 20 years in Hollywood, Paul Verhoeven returned to the Netherlands in 2006 to film Black Book (2006). Starting in 2007, he moved his attention to writing. In 2016 he returned to the screen with Elle, which not only won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture in the category Foreign Language, but also earned Isabelle Huppert the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama.

Dora Bouchoucha Fourati (Tunisia)

Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha Fourati is something of an institution in the film world. The English literature graduate started off as a teacher and translator of screenplays. In 1992, she launched the Carthage Film Festival “Projects' Workshop” to assist Arabs and Africans in developing their scripts and the follow-up initiative “Takmil” to support post-production in 2014. In 1995, she founded her own production company Nomadis Images. The many fiction and documentary features, and short films she has produced and co-produced include: Raja Amari’s multiple award-winning Satin Rouge (2002), Barakat! (dir: Djamila Sahraoui, Berlinale Forum 2006), Raja Amari’s Buried Secrets (2009) and Foreign Body (Berlinale Forum 2017). She produced all of Mohamed Ben Attia’s short films and his full-length debut Hedi, which screened in the Berlinale Competition in 2016 and won the Best First Feature Award and Silver Bear for Best Actor (Majd Mastoura). Dora Bouchoucha also founded the screenwriting workshop SUD ECRITURE for Arab and African scripts in 1997 which has launched many award winning films to date. She was festival director of the Carthage Film Festival in 2008, 2010, and 2014. She was appointed president of the Fonds Sud Cinéma of the CNC in 2010; and president of the follow-up institution, Aide aux Cinemas du Monde, in 2014.

Olafur Eliasson (Iceland)

Born in Denmark of Icelandic parentage, Olafur Eliasson quickly garnered international attention after completing the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He participated in the Berlin Biennale in 1998 and the Venice Biennale in 2003, and his piece “The weather project”, which was installed in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, attracted over two million visitors. Today, with his sculptures, installations, paintings, photographs and films that often focus on physical phenomena in nature as well as climate change, he has become one of the world’s most important contemporary artists. Eliasson, who founded his studio in Berlin in 1995, has received countless awards. Besides being involved in art, he is the founder of a global sustainable energy project and social business called Little Sun, as well as the international architectural firm Studio Other Spaces. His latest artworks include a number of installations at the Palace of Versailles in 2016.

Maggie Gyllenhaal (USA)

Celebrated American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of the outstanding talents of her generation. After studying literature at Columbia University in New York and acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she became known for her roles in Donnie Darko (dir: Richard Kelly, 2001) and in Spike Jonze’s Berlinale Competition entry Adaptation (2002). Her big breakthrough came when she played the lead in the film Secretary (dir: Steven Shainberg, 2002). For it she received her first Golden Globe nomination and won several awards, including an IFP/Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance. She went on to star in, e.g., Mike Newell’s Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Marc Forster’s Stranger than Fiction (2006), Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (2006), Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), Sam Mendes’s Away We Go (2009), and Roland Emmerich’s White House Down (2013). For her role in Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart (2009) she was nominated for an Oscar. In 2014 she headlined the British TV series The Honourable Woman, for which she garnered a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination. Gyllenhaal, who in recent years has performed on Broadway, is currently cast to star in The Deuce, a new HBO series that she is also producing.

Julia Jentsch (Germany)

After finishing her studies at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts, Julia Jentsch, who was born in Berlin, began her career on the stage. In 2002 “Theater heute” magazine rated her the best female debut of the year. Her breakthrough on the screen was in The Edukators (2004, dir: Hans Weingartner) and in Sophie Scholl – The Final Days (Berlinale Competition 2005), for which she won not only the Berlinale’s Silver Bear, but also both the German and European Film Awards. The film itself, which was directed by Marc Rothemund, was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Since then Julia Jentsch has starred in a number of works, including 33 Scenes from Life by Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska, Hannah Arendt by Margarethe von Trotta, and I Served the King of England by Jiří Menzel. With Effie Briest (Berlinale Special 2009, dir: Hermine Huntgeburth) and 24 Weeks (Berlinale Competition 2016; dir: Anne Zohra Berrached), Jentsch was again invited to the Berlinale. Most recently she performed in front of the camera in Hans-Christian Schmid’s mini-series Das Verschwinden, which will be released in 2017.

Diego Luna (Mexico)

Diego Luna’s breakthrough role came with Alfonso Cuarón’s Y tu mamá también, for which he shared the Marcello Mastroianni Award with Gael García Bernal at the Venice Film Festival in 2001. His feature film acting credits include Frida (dir. Julie Taymor, 2002), The Terminal (dir: Steven Spielberg, 2004), Rudo y Cursi (dir: Carlos Cuarón, 2008), Milk (dir: Gus van Sant, Berlinale Panorama 2009), Contraband (dir: Baltasar Kormákur, 2012) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (dir: Gareth Edwards, 2016). Next fall he will star in Flatliners (dir: Niels Arden Oplev). Luna’s directorial debut, titled Abel, premiered at the film festival in Cannes in 2010. This was followed by César Chávez (Berlinale Special 2014) and Mr. Pig, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. He and Bernal co-founded “Ambulante” in 2005, a charity organization dedicated, among other things, to promoting documentary film. Luna is also a member of the board of the Washington Office on Latin America.

Wang Quan’an (People's Republic of China)

The director and screenwriter trained first as an actor before he turned to filmmaking. After studying at the Beijing Film Academy, Wang Quan'an, who was born in Yan'an in Shaanxi province, presented his debut film Lunar Eclipse in 1999. It screened in the Berlinale's Forum section in 2002 after making various award-winning appearances at festivals around the world. He was selected with Tuya's Marriage for the Competition in 2007 and, as the third Chinese filmmaker in the festival's history, won the Golden Bear. Three years later, Apart Together was chosen as the Berlinale's opening film and went on to win the Silver Bear for Best Script, which Wang co-wrote with Jin Na. He returned to the Berlinale Competition in 2012 with White Deer Plain, an adaptation of the historical novel of the same name, where his director of photography, Lutz Reitemeier, won the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution.

GWFF Best First Feature Award Jury

Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala)

In 2015 with his debut feature, Ixcanul, Jayro Bustamante was the first Guatemalan director invited to participate in the Competition of the Berlinale. Cast with amateur actors from the region of the Kaqchikel Maya, the film won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. Ixcanul went on to screen at 60 other film festivals, including those in Karlovy Vary, Jerusalem, Telluride, Toronto, Biarritz, Cartagena, Mumbai, Guadalajara, Ghent, and San Sebastián, and took home 52 awards. What is more, Ixcanul was the second Guatemalan movie ever submitted for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Jayro Bustamante, who had previously studied in Paris and Rome, as well as directed commercials for Ogilvy & Matter, has also made a variety of short, documentary, and animated films. Currently he is working on his next two full-length feature films: Temblores and Los tenis de barrondo.

Clotilde Courau (France)

Clotilde Courau began her acting career at 16 and performed on stage while still at acting school. For her screen debut in Jacques Doillon’s The Little Gangster, which ran in the Berlinale Competition in 1991, she received the European Film Award and her first nomination for a César. Ever since, Clotilde Courau has been an established star of French cinema. She is known for films such as Elisa (dir: Jean Becker, 1995); The Bait (dir: Bertrand Tavernier, 1995); the opening film of the Berlinale 2007, La vie en rose (dir: Olivier Dahan); and In the Shadow of Women (dir: Philippe Garrel, 2015). She has also starred in international productions, e.g. in Paul Mazursky’s The Pickle (1993) and Rod Lurie’s Deterrence (1999). Courau regularly performs on the stage: recently she played in “Piaf, l’être intime”, which she also directed. Her latest film Le Ciel attendra by Marie Castille Mention-Schaar will open in German cinemas in 2017.

Mahmoud Sabbagh (Saudi Arabia)

Born in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in 1983, author, director and producer Mahmoud Sabbagh presented his debut feature, Barakah Meets Barakah, in the Berlinale’s Forum section in 2016. There this remarkably humorous film won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury. It went on to be screened at, e.g., the Toronto International Film Festival, and ultimately entered the race – only the second Saudi Arabian film ever to do so – for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. For some years now, Sabbagh, who has a degree in documentary filmmaking from New York’s Columbia University, has been considered one of the pioneers of a new independent generation of filmmakers in his country. Among other works, he has directed and penned a documentary on the controversial poet Hamza Shehata as well as the highly-regarded online TV series Cash.

Glashütte Original – Documentary Award Jury

Daniela Michel (Mexico)

Born in Mexico City, Daniela Michel is a film critic and founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival, an annual event launched in 2003 to support a new generation of Mexican filmmakers. After studying filmmaking she received a degree in English Literature. She has curated retrospectives of Mexican cinema in and outside Mexico. Michel has also served on the Jury for the “Un Certain Regard” and “La Semaine de la Critique” sections of the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Sarajevo Film Festival, among other festivals, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Media Arts Fellowships and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Laura Poitras (USA)

Laura Poitras, who was born in the USA, first studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and then The New School in New York. Her work crosses the boundaries of documentary film, journalism, and art. In 2006 she began her 9/11 Trilogy with the film My Country, My Country, for which she received her first Oscar nomination. This was followed by The Oath (2010), which like My Country, My Country, was shown in the Berlinale’s Forum section. With CITIZENFOUR, the third part of her trilogy, Poitras won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015. With this film about Edward Snowden, she also took home awards from the German Film Prize, the Director’s Guild of America, and BAFTA. Her reporting on NSA surveillance has appeared in Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, and received a Pulitzer Prize and the Nannen Prize for Press Freedom. In 2016, she mounted her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is co-creator of the visual journalism project, Field of Vision.

Samir (Iraq)

Samir was born in Bagdad and moved with his family to Switzerland when he was seven years old. In the 1980s, after studying at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and training to be a typesetter, he began working as a cameraman, director, and screenwriter. Over the years he has made more than 40 short and full-length films. In 1994, he – and documentary filmmaker Werner Schweizer and producer Karin Koch – took over Dschoint Ventschr (spoken like Joint Venture) Filmproduktion, which concentrates on promoting young Swiss talents. Samir has directed both fiction and documentary films for the cinema and television – including Snow White (2005), which received multiple awards – as well as many stage productions. His documentary Iraqi Odyssey was screened in the Berlinale Panorama in 2015 and submitted by Switzerland for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

International Short Film Jury

Kimberly Drew (USA)

Kimberly Drew is a curator, writer and the social media manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her blog “Black Contemporary Art”, founded in 2011, and her Instagram channel “museummammy” are among the most influential digital platforms for African and African-American art worldwide. She has been awarded the AIR Gallery Feminist Curator Award and the Gold Rush Award by the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation for her curatorial work. Kimberly Drew studied art history and African-American studies with an emphasis on museum studies at Smith College in Northampton, USA.

Christian Jankowski (Germany)

Jankowski works in the area of concept and media arts using film, video, photography and performance, as well as painting, sculpture and installations. His special focus is on the performative interaction between the artist and an audience far removed from the professional art world. His works are exhibited in numerous museums and collections, and have been shown at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2013, among other events. In 2016, he curated the European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Zurich, “Manifesta 11”. Christian Jankowski also holds a professorship in sculpture at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design.

Carlos Núñez (Chile)

Festival programmer and film producer Carlos Núñez is the co-founder and artistic director of SANFIC, the Santiago International Film Festival, an important forum for Chilean and Latin American film. In addition, he is the director and co-founder of the production and distribution company Storyboard Media. Among other films, he has co-produced La Mujer de Barro by Sergio Castro San Martín, which screened in Forum at the 2015 Berlinale. Carlos Núñez is also a university lecturer and a member of Cinema23, a platform for the promotion of film culture in Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

Honorary Awards of the Festival

The recipients of honorary awards are not chosen by a jury but by the Festival Director.

Children's Jury Generation Kplus

A Children's Jury with members aged 11 to 14 awards the Crystal Bears in the Generation Kplus competition. The jury members are selected from film questionaires submitted the previous year and officially invited to participate by the Festival Director.


The members of the 2017 Generation Kplus Children's Jury: Kay Arend, Antonie Beckmann, Laurentius Fritz, Ilja Gavrylov, Ida Kirschning, Louis Lemperle-McGrath, Emilia Schmidt, Lea Schönfeldt, Ben Trabhardt, Till Trabhardt, Pina Zehnpfennig.

Youth Jury Generation 14plus

A Youth Jury with members aged 14 to 18 awards the Crystal Bears in the Generation 14plus competition. The jury members are selected from film questionaires submitted the previous year and officially invited to participate by the Festival Director.


The members of the 2017 Generation 14plus Youth Jury: Rosa Ehrlich, Oscar R. Franck, Hannah Kähler, Luka Kowalewsky, Marie Kühn, Quinten Samrotzki, Rosa Schaefer Bastian.

Generation Kplus International Jury

This Jury awards the "Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury" for the best feature-length film, endowed with € 7,500 by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Child Support Organisation). The "Special Prize of the Generation Kplus International Jury" is awarded to the best short film, endowed with € 2,500 by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk.


Members of the Generation Kplus International Jury 2017 were: Fabian Gasmia, Aneta Ozorek, Yoon Ga-eun.

Generation 14plus International Jury

This Jury awards the "Grand Prix of the Generation 14plus International Jury" for the best feature-length film, endowed with € 7,500 by the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education). The "Special Prize of the Generation 14plus International Jury" is awarded to the best short film, endowed with € 2,500 by the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung.

Members of the Generation 14plus International Jury 2017 were: Benjamin Cantu, Roberto Doveris, Jennifer Reeder.