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Wong Kar Wai to lead Berlin film fest jury

Agence France-Presse
The Chinese director rose to international fame in 1994's 'Chungking Express'

CHINESE DIRECTOR WONG KAR Wai. Screen grab from YouTube (sukdi100)

BERLIN, Germany – Award-winning Chinese director Wong Kar Wai will lead the jury of the 63rd Berlin Film Festival in February 2013, organizers said Tuesday, August 28.

The festival traditionally highlights Asian cinema.

Wong, best known for his 2000 slow-burn drama “In the Mood for Love,” will lead a panel that will tap the winners of the Golden and Silver Bear prizes at one of Europe’s top cinema showcases running February 7 to 17.

“Wong Kar Wai is one of the most celebrated filmmakers of our time. His distinctive signature and the poetry of his works have fascinated all of us,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement.

“For him to become jury president is a wish come true. Since the 1980s, the Berlinale has established itself as a platform for contemporary Chinese cinema, which is another reason why we are greatly honored that Wong Kar Wai will be presiding (over) the International Jury 2013.”

The festival quoted Wong, who was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong, as saying he was “truly honored” by the invitation.

“It would be a fulfilling experience for any cineaste,” he said.

Wong made his international breakthrough in 1994 with “Chungking Express.”

In 2006, Wong became the first Chinese director to sit on the jury at Cannes, where he had picked up a best director prize in 1997 for “Happy Together.”

“2046,” a science fiction-tinged follow up to “In the Mood for Love,” won a European Film Award in 2004; “My Blueberry Nights” starring Jude Law and singer Norah Jones opened Cannes in 2007.

He is currently working on “The Grandmasters” with Chinese superstars Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi.

2012’s Berlinale jury president was British director Mike Leigh, who awarded the Golden Bear to veteran Italian filmmakers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani for “Caesar Must Die,” a docu-drama about inmates at a high-security prison staging Shakespeare. – Agence France-Presse


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