Berlinale: International Jury

Prizes of the International Jury

With German director, screenwriter, film composer, and producer Tom Tykwer serving as Jury President, the International Jury will decide who will receive the Golden Bear and Silver Bears of the 2018 Berlinale Competition.

Jury President of the Berlinale 2018: Tom Tykwer

Since 1992, the prize-winning, internationally renowned filmmaker has presented six of his films at the Berlinale. The first was his short film Epilog in the 1992 Panorama section. The Berlin International Film Festival has twice opened with Tykwer films – Heaven (2002) and The International (2009). Also seen at the festival were his short True (2004), as well as the film projects Germany 09: 13 Short Films About the State of the Nation (2009) and Rosakinder (2013), both anthology films made with other German directors.

“The Berlinale has always been my favourite and my home film festival, and has supported me since I began working as a filmmaker. We have a fantastic and broad history with each other. Now I can look forward to two focused and fun weeks of films with the jury”, says Tom Tykwer with regard to his jury presidency.

Tom Tykwer originally studied philosophy in Berlin, and worked as a projectionist and manager of the Moviemento cinema before making his first feature Deadly Maria in 1993. In 1994, he joined Stefan Arndt, Wolfgang Becker, and Dani Levy in founding the production company X Filme Creative Pool. He co-wrote the screenplay for Becker’s film Life is All You Get (Berlinale Competition 1996). In 1997, he directed Winter Sleepers, followed in 1998 by Run Lola Run, which marked his international breakthrough.

automatisch importiert von frankw (Frank Weisser (interactive tools)) am Fri Nov 13 13:01:20 CET 2009
Star portrait of Tom Tykwer (© Gerhard Kassner / Berlinale, 2009)

After The Princess and the Warrior (2000), which he shot in his hometown of Wuppertal, he made his first English-language film Heaven, based on the last screenplay written by Krzysztof Kieślowski. Cate Blanchett played the lead. Further international productions followed with Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), based on Patrick Süskind’s novel, and The International (2009 Berlinale opening film).

Three (2010), for which Tykwer won the German Film Prize for best director, was followed in 2012 by Cloud Atlas. The film, based on the eponymous bestseller by David Mitchell, was the first time Tykwer worked as a director with the Wachowskis (the Matrix trilogy). Tykwer composed music for and directed several episodes of the siblings’ Netflix series Sense8 (2015 – 2017).

Tykwer’s feature A Hologram for the King, with Tom Hanks in the lead, was released in 2016. The director adapted the screenplay himself from the novel by Dave Eggers.

For his most recent turn at the helm, Tykwer has ventured into episodic television. Babylon Berlin is based on a series of books by Volker Kutscher and is set in Berlin during the Weimar era. Tom Tykwer co-directed the first 16 episodes of Babylon Berlin with Achim von Borries and Henk Handloegten.

Since the beginning of his career, Tom Tykwer has always composed the music for his own films, and has recently been collaborating with Johnny Klimek. He received numerous awards for the Cloud Atlas soundtrack, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for best composer.

In addition to often functioning as writer, director, producer, and composer on his own films, Tom Tykwer has also been a producer on the films Gigantic (1999, dir: Sebastian Schipper), Soundless (2004, dir: Mennan Yapo), A Friend of Mine (2006, dir: Sebastian Schipper) and The Heart is a Dark Forest (2007, dir: Nicolette Krebitz).

The Awards

The most important awards at the Berlinale are the Golden Bear and the Silver Bears. They are presented by the International Jury to films in the Competition and belong to the most renowned awards in the international film industry.

The International Jury is selected every year by the Festival Director and presents the following awards:

  • Golden Bear for Best Film (awarded to the film’s producer)
  • Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
  • Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives
  • Silver Bear for Best Director
  • Silver Bear for Best Actress
  • Silver Bear for Best Actor
  • Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
  • Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories camera, editing, music score, costume or set design

In recent years, Festival Director Dieter Kosslick has invited internationally recognised personalities from the world of film such as James Schamus, Wong Kar Wai, Mike Leigh, Isabella Rossellini, Werner Herzog, Tilda Swinton, Darren Aronofsky, Meryl Streep and Paul Verhoeven to head the seven-member jury. Jury members include directors, actresses and actors as well as producers, but also writers and artists. One of the festive highpoints of every Berlinale is the presentation of the Bears on the penultimate day of the festival.

The Golden Bear

The Bear statues are based on a design by sculptress Renée Sintenis (1888-1965). Since the beginning of the festival, they have been produced by the Noack sculpture foundry in Berlin. The German capital’s trademark mascot also graces the Berlinale logo.