lonergan bejo

Source: Berlinale / Michel Hazanavicius

Kenneth Lonergan, Bérénice Bejo

The Berlin International Film Festival (February 20 – March 1) has revealed its competition juries, including director Kenneth Lonergan, actress Bérénice Bejo and filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho.

The seven-person jury also includes German producer Bettina Brokemper, Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir, and Italian actor Luca Marinelli.

Lonergan is the Oscar-winning writer-director of Manchester By The Sea while Argentine-French star Bejo is perhaps best-known for her performance in Academy Award-winner The Artist. Brazil’s Mendonça Filho won the jury prize at last year’s Cannes with Bacurau.

Jeremy Irons was announced last month as president of the jury for the 70th edition, a choice which drew criticism from members of the German media for controversial previous comments he had made about sexual harassment and gay marriage.

Encounters, the festival’s new competitive section, will have a three-person jury headed by Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor, German filmmaker Eva Trobisch and Japanese producer Shôzô Ichimaya.

They will award three prizes: best film, best director and a special jury award.

Generation juries

For the Generation sections, Iran’s Abbas Amini, South Africa’s Jenna Bass and India’s Rima Das form the 14plus jury; while France’s Marine Atlan, Mexico’s María Novaro, and Germany’s Erik Schmitt comprise the Kplus panel.

The documentary prize will be chosen by Gerd Kroske (Germany), Marie Loser (France-US) and Alanis Obomsawin (Canada); while Ognjen Glavonić (Serbia), Hala Lofty (Egypt) and Gonzalo de Pedro Amatria (Spain) will select the best first feature winner from 21 feature debuts at the festival.

Filmmakers Réka Bucsi (Hungary) and Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho) will sit alongside curator Fatma Çolakoğlu (Turkey) on the international short film jury.

The festival has also added Michael Verhoeven’s 1970 Vietnam War drama O.K. as the closing film of the Forum Anniversary programme. It played in Competition that year, creating controversy with several jury members considering it anti-American. This led to no major prizes being awarded at the 1970 event.

The 70th Berlinale will open on February 20 with the world premiere of Philippe Falardeau’s My Salinger Year starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.