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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Jeanne Moreau Presides over San Sebastian Jury

The French actress Jeanne Moreau is one of the few performing artists who both epitomize and transcend their eras by the originality of their work.
Jeanne Moreau was born in Paris on January 25, 1928. Her father, Anatole Désiré Moreau, was the proprietor of a Montmartre bistro. Her mother, Kathleen Sarah Buckley, left Lancashire, England, at the age of seventeen to dance at the Folies-Bergère. After honing her craft as a principal member of the Comédie-Française and the Théâtre National Populaire, Moreau played supporting roles in many French literary adaptations, and policiers and séries noires (detective and crime novels) during the 1950s. Four of the more notable of these films were Jacques Becker’s Touchez pas au grisbi (1955), Jean Dréville’s La reine Margot (The Queen Margot) (1953), Edouard Molinaro’s Le dos au mur (Back to the Wall) (1957), and Louis Malle’s Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows/Lift to the Scaffold/Frantic) (1957).
It was with the 1958 release of Malle’s Les amants (The Lovers) that audiences around the world took note of an actress uniquely capable of suggesting seductiveness, sorrow, ennui, and youthful recklessness. Regarded by François Truffaut as his muse inspiratrice, Moreau became the signal star of the French New Wave, working closely with Truffaut, Malle, Jacques Demy, Jean-Louis Richard and Roger Vadim. She is perhaps best remembered as the enigmatic Catherine in Jules and Jim,Truffaut’s “hymn to life and death”.
Jeanne Moreau chooses directors, not films. The 1960s marked her belle époque, with starring roles in films by many of the cinema’s giants, including Orson Welles, Luis Buñuel, Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean Renoir, Joseph Losey, Peter Brook and Tony Richardson. In the 1970s and 1980s she collaborated with Marguerite Duras, Carlos Diegues, André Téchiné and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In the 1990s, Moreau won a César, France’s Oscar, for Best Actress in 1992, for her role in La vieille qui marchait dans la mer (The Old Lady Who Wades in the Sea) (1991), and starred alongside Alec Guinness, Lauren Bacall, and Leo McKern in Charles Sturridge’s A Foreign Field (1993).
Encouraged by Orson Welles, Moreau made her directorial debut in 1976 with Lumière, a critically praised portrayal of the intimate relationships among four women. The following year she directed Simone Signoret in L’adolescente. She has also turned her sensitive camera to a biography of Lillian Gish (1982).
The list of awards and recognitions received by Jeanne Moreau is impressive. To name but a few: Best Actress at Cannes Festival in 1960 for Moderato cantabile; a homage and retrospective at Florence Festival (1985); the Golden Lion at Venice Festival in 1992 by way of a Lifetime Achievement Award; César for Best Actress for La vieille qui marchait dans la mer (The Old Lady Who Wades in the Sea, 1992); a retrospective at the MoMA in New York (1994); an Honorary César (1995); the Fellowship granted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Film Academy (1997); the Tribute paid by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1998), the most important distinction granted by the Academy to an international actress; the homage paid at Créteil Festival (1999); the Golden Bear at Berlin Festival by way of a Lifetime Achievement Award; the Honorary Golden Palm at Cannes Festival (2003); and, of course, the Donostia Award at San Sebastian Festival in 1997.
She also holds the highest French official distinctions: Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, Officier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite. She was the first woman to hold a chair at the Audiovisual Section of the French Fine Arts Academy (2001).
She was Jury Chairwoman at Cannes (1975 and 1995), Avoriaz (1981), Berlin (1983), New Delhi (1985 and 1996), Montreal (1996) and Angers (2001).
Moreau’s biographer and friend Jean-Claude Moireau has written of her: “If her career as a performer has been exemplary, it’s because it has always been founded on profound integrity. What draws together the qualities that she has embodied on the stage and screen with the woman that she really is is a natural gift for metamorphosis. So emotive and malleable is her face that no label can ever justly be applied to her. Jeanne Moreau touches us because she is so extraordinarily human”.
Other jury members include: Bruno Barreto, Isabel Coixet, Sara Driver, Bruno Ganz, Manuel Gómez Pereira and José Saramago.


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Chatelin Bruno
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