Three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep will be Jury President of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival to be held in Berlin between 11th to 21st February 2016. It is the first ever film festival jury duty for her.
While making the announcement, Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick said, “Meryl Streep is one of the most creative and multifaceted film artists. To mark our enthusiasm for her extraordinary talent we awarded her the Honorary Golden Bear in 2012 for her lifetime achievement. I am very happy that she is returning to Berlin and with her artistic experience will take on the chairmanship of the International Jury.”
Meryl Streep has appeared in over 40 films and is considered one of the world's most talented and versatile actresses. She has received countless awards and nominations, including her unprecedented 19 Oscar nominations, which she went on to win three times. She was honoured with a Golden Globe eight times and nominated a further 20 times.
Meryl Streep's international breakthrough came in the late 1970s with the TV series Holocaust and Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter (1978, her first Oscar nomination) as well as the divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer (1979, directed by Robert Benton) for which she received her first Oscar. She won a second Academy Award for her compelling performance in Sophie's Choice (1982, directed by Alan J. Pakula).
She starred in Woody Allen's romantic comedy MANHATTAN (1979) and the historical drama THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN (1981, directed by Karel Reisz). She played a deeply committed union activist in SILKWOOD (1983, by Mike Nichols), as well as Tania Blixen in Sidney Pollack's epic adaptation of OUT OF AFRICA (1985). With Susan Seidelman's SHE-DEVIL (1989), Streep appeared in her first comedy-role; in 1992, she gave yet another brilliant comic performance in DEATH BECOMES HER (directed by Robert Zemeckis). In the 1995 drama THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, she played the lead alongside Clint Eastwood, who also directed the film. In 2002, she performed in Stephen Daldry's screen adaptation of the novel The Hours. Leading roles followed in the satire THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006, directed by David Frankel), Robert Altman's A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (2006) and the political thriller LIONS FOR LAMBS (2007, directed by Robert Redford). Meryl Streep once again proved her versatility in the musical comedy MAMMA MIA (2008, directed by Phyllida Lloyd), and JULIE & JULIA (2009, directed by Nora Ephron).
For her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in THE IRON LADY (2011, directed by Phyllida Lloyd) she was once again awarded an Oscar. Most recently Meryl Streep excelled in films such as AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (2014, directed by John Wells), the musical INTO THE WOODS (2014) by Rob Marshall, the Western THE HOMESMAN (2014, directed by Tommy Lee Jones) and RICKI AND THE FLASH (2015, directed by Jonathan Demme). The upcoming historical drama SUFFRAGETTE (2015, directed by Sarah Gavron) sees her playing a women's rights activist.
Meryl Streep has been a guest at the Berlin International Film Festival on a number of occasions: in 1999, she was awarded the Berlinale Camera, and in 2003, together with Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman she shared the Silver Bear award for their performances in The Hours. In 2006, she could again be seen in the Berlinale Competition in Robert Altman's ensemble comedy A Prairie Home Companion. In 2012, the Berlinale dedicated a homage to Meryl Streep and awarded her the Honorary Golden Bear for her lifetime achievement.
“It is a thrill to return to the festival under any circumstances, but it is with great relish and anticipation I look forward to jury duty. The responsibility is somewhat daunting, as I have never been President of anything before, and I hope I can come up to the precedent set by the distinguished juries of preceding years. Grateful for the honor”, says Meryl Streep with regard to her jury presidency.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)
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