Film Festival Today

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Director Mike Leigh Ponders Role As Head Of Berlin Jury

Written by: FFT Webmaster | February 13th, 2012

Veteran director Mike Leigh is the President of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival Jury, presiding over a impressive group of fellow jury members including filmmakers Francois Ozon, Anton Corbijn and Asghar Farhadi (whose film A SEPARATION won Berlin’s top prize last year and is up for two Academy Awards), writer Boualem Sansai, and actors Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jake Gyllenhaal and Barbara Sukowa. At the jury press conference held on the Festival’s opening day, Leigh shared that he has a long association with the Festival, which has premiered many of his films over the years. “My experience of this festival goes back a long way,” he said. “Every festival is different. And this is one of those festivals — and there are many but this is the main one — which I really enjoy for its spirit, its atmosphere, its general joie de vivre… I think it’s helped by the fact that it takes place in the middle of winter and that it’s always very cold here. I think that informs the spirit hugely.” When asked how he and other jury members would make their ultimate decisions on what films to honor by the Festival’s end, he responded that “we anticipate nothing here, because we have a completely open mind about what we’re going to experience and enjoy and savor in the films we are going to consider. It’s great to just to spend time thinking about films, and not one’s own films.”

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