Former 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Bill Mechanic will preside over the jury at the next Berlin Film Festival, to be held February 7-18, 2001.

Festival chief Moritz de Hadeln, who hands over to Dieter Kosslick after next year's event, described Mechanic as "a staunch supporter of the festival during his tenure at Disney and Fox".

Mechanic, who in recent years has premiered Fox titles such as The Thin Red Line and The Beach at Berlin, said he was "honoured to serve during Moritz de Hadeln's final year as festival director". He will have input in selecting the rest of the jury which will be announced early in the new year.