Berlinale: Juries

Juries 2007

International Jury

Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader (USA)

American Gigolo is the best-known film directed by Jury President Paul Schrader. Though it was with the screenplay to Taxi Driver that he made film history (1976). By continuing his collaboration with director Martin Scorsese, he also went on to celebrate success with Raging Bull (1980) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Schrader gave his directorial debut in 1978 with Blue Collar. It was followed, for instance, by Mishima in 1985. His film adaptation of The Comfort of Strangers (1991), a novel by Ian McEwan, with a script by Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter, was outstanding. Schrader screened his crime drama Light Sleeper in the 1992 Berlinale Competition.

Hiam Abbass

Hiam Abbass (Palestine)

Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass also writes screenplays and directs films. Abbass, who lives in Paris, has starred in excellent films over the past years. For example, she displayed her versatility in Red Satin (2002) and then again as The Syrian Bride (2004). Most recently she performed in Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Now (2005) and Steven Spielberg’s Munich (2005).

Mario Adorf / © Nik Konietzny

Mario Adorf (Germany)

With Mario Adorf, this year’s jury includes a connoisseur of German cinema. More than 120 film and television roles have made him one of the most famous actors in Germany. Adorf has starred in films such as Volker Schlöndorff’s The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum and The Tin Drum, in Fassbinder’s Lola and in Helmut Dietl’s Rossini. He has also performed in many international productions – including films by Claude Chabrol, Sergio Corbucci, Sam Peckinpah and Billy Wilder, among others.

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe (USA)

Willem Dafoe is one of the most highly esteemed actors from the USA and is seen as a master of intriguing dark characters. After his debut in Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980), he won worldwide acclaim as a soldier in Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986). He has given brilliant performances in blockbusters like Spider-Man as well as in arthouse productions by David Cronenberg, Lars von Trier or Martin Scorsese. Dafoe is also well-known for his stage performances, in particular for his work with the legendary “Wooster Group”.

Gael Garcia Bernal / © Eva Vermandel

Gael García Bernal (Mexico)

Since his screen debut in the Oscar nominated Love’s a Bitch by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexican actor Gael García Bernal is not just a celebrated star in his own country. Walter Salles cast him as Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries and Pedro Almodóvar in Bad Education. In 2006, Bernal could be seen in the Berlinale Competition film The Science of Sleep by Michel Gondry and in Iñárritu’s tremendously successful Babel.

Nansun SHI / © Teo Keng Beng

Nansun Shi (Hong Kong, China)

Film producer Nansun Shi from Hong Kong has been described by Variety magazine as one of the 50 most influential indie filmmakers around the world. One of the biggest successes of her 20-year career was the prize-winning Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, on which Scorsese based The Departed. In addition she produced Tsui Hark’s epic martial-arts movie Seven Swords, which opened the Venice Biennale in 2005.

Molly Malene Stensgaard

Molly Malene Stensgaard (Denmark)

Film editor Molly Malene Stensgaard from Denmark has worked on almost every film made by her fellow countryman Lars von Trier – from the series The Kingdom to The Idiots, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville and Manderlay. In doing so she has left her mark on Danish cinema. In addition, she has worked, for example, with director Anette K. Olesen, whose film In Your Hands screened in the Berlinale Competition three years ago.

Best First Feature Award Jury

Judy Counihan (United Kingdom)

Judy Counihan’s film and television producer career has so far spanned 18 successful years. Two of her films, Antonia (1995) and No Man’s Land (2001), have been awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. She also produced the war drama Before the Rain (1994) which won, amongst other awards, the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Niki Karimi (Iran)

Teheran born, Niki Karimi is one of the best known Iranian actresses today. She has received numerous prizes at festivals at home and abroad, including Best Actress in San Sebastián (Sara, 1995), Taormina (Two women, 1999) as well as in Cairo (Hidden Half, 2001). Her directorial debut came in 2001 with the documentary To Have or not to Have, which dealt with the difficulties experienced by childless couples. She presented her first feature One night in Un certain regard in Cannes 2005 and her second feature A few days later in Toronto in 2006.

Gerhard Meixner (Germany)

Gerhard Meixner is a graduate of the University of Television and Film in Munich. In 2002 he founded the production company Razor Film, together with Roman Paul. He registered his first success as a producer with Hany Abu-Assad’s drama Paradise Now, which picked up an award at the Berlinale as well as being nominated for an Oscar. Following this, he has been involved in Der Lebensversicherer (Running on Empty - winner of the “Dialogue en perspective” Award at the Berlinale 2006) and the MTV co-production, Die Aufschneider.

International Short Film Jury

Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima (Nigeria)

Qualified lawyer, Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima is today known as one of the most significant personalities in the African film industry. She founded the African Academy which presents all meaningful African film awards and is President of the African Movie Academy Awards. The boom in the Nigerian home video market is largely due to the efforts of Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima. Her successes of note as a producer include the films Blind Date and Fear of the Unknown 1 & 2.

Riina Sildos (Estonia)

Riina Sildos ist mit der wirtschaftlichen und der künstlerischen Seite des Filmemachens gleichermaßen vertraut. Sie begann als Filmkritikerin, wurde 1998 Mitbegründerin des Internationalen Film Festivals in Tallinn und war von 2000 bis 2003 Vorsitzende der Estnischen Filmstiftung. Als selbstständige Produzentin hat sie unter anderem die Dokumentation Wounds of Afghanistan sowie den ersten baltischen Animationsspielfilm Lotte from Gadgetville betreut, der im diesjährigen Berlinale-Programm von Generation zu sehen ist.

Ning Ying (People's Republic of China)

Ning Ying is widely considered one of the greatest directing talents out of China. Her international successes include Love Beijing (2001), the final part of a trilogy about people in her home city, Peking. The film was shown at the Berlinale in the Forum in 2001. For the documentary, Railroad of Hope (Forum 2002), Ning Ying was awarded the “Grand Prix du Cinemá du Réel” in Paris. Two years ago, Ning Ying presented her most recent film Perpetual Motion at numerous international film festivals.

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.

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.

Generation Kplus International Jury

The International Jury of the Generation Kplus competition awards the Grand Prix of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Child Support Organisation) worth 7,500 Euros, to the Best Feature Film. The charity's special prize, which has a value of 2,500 Euros, is awarded to the Best Short Film.

Members of the Generation Kplus International Jury 2007 are: Andreas Steinhöfel, Sitora Alieva, Justin Johnson, Leontine Petit, and Reza Bagher.