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The Berlinale Jury members

Which competition film or participant will take home a Golden or Silver Berlin Bear at the end of the Berlinale 2004 is decided by the International Jury. In 2004 this committee will again consist of seven international film experts from a variety of disciplines. This year’s President of the Jury is Frances McDormand, an Academy Award winner and star of independent film.

The award ceremony of the 54th Berlin International Film Festival will be held at the Berlinale Palast on Saturday, February 14, 2004.

Maji-da Abdi (Ethiopia)
African filmmaker Maji-da Abdi is on the jury as a representative of the young generation. Born in Ethiopia she grew up in Kenya and Canada, then returned to her home country to make documentary films. Her film The River that Divides (2001) tells of the war experiences of Ethiopian women. As a producer Maji-da Abdi has supervised works including the multiple award-winning film Heremakono by Abderrahmane Sissako from Mali.

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Italy)
Valeria Bruni Tedeschi is one of the most renowned actresses of her generation. She grew up in Italy and lives in France. Her many acting awards include a special prize for Nénette et Boni (Nenette and Boni) at the Locarno Film Festival in 1996. She worked together with “auteur” filmmakers including Patrice Chéreau, Bertrand Blier, Marco Bellocchio. Last year she celebrated her debut as a director with Il est plus facile pour un chameau ...

Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran)
The 24-year-old Iranian director is one of the greatest discoveries in the international film scene. Her sensational directing debut The Apple (1998) was followed by the Cannes prize-winning films The Blackboard and 5 in the afternoon and her contribution God, Construction and Destruction in the episode film 11’09’’01 – September 11. Samira Makhmalbaf has received numerous international awards for her politically and visually courageous films.

Frances McDormand (USA) President of the Jury
Actress Frances McDormand became a star of independent cinema in the films of directing brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. In 1997 she won an Oscar for her role in the comedy thriller Fargo. She is also present in the theatre: often together with Willem Dafoe in the famous Wooster Group in New York City. At this year’s Berlinale she appears in the Competition film Something’s gotta give.

Peter Rommel (Germany)
Peter Rommel produced some of the most interesting German and international films in recent years. Together with director Andreas Dresen he realized Night Shapes (Nachtgestalten) (1998) and Grill Point (Halbe Treppe) (2002), both of which won Silver Bears. Peter Rommel, a founding member of the German Film Academy, not only produces films but also teaches at the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy.

Gabriele Salvatores (Italy)
Mediterraneo marked the international breakthrough for Gabriele Salvatores and won him the Foreign Film Oscar in 1992. The well-known film and theatre director founded one of Italy’s key theatres in 1972, the Teatro d’Elfo in Milan. His cinema career began in 1983 with Sogno di una notte d’estate. In 2003 he presented Io non ho paura (I’m not scared), a political thriller told from the perspective of a child, in the Berlinale competition.

Dan Talbot (USA)
For over forty years the dedicated New York cinema man and distributor has enriched film culture in the Big Apple with European Arthouse films and independent US productions. His independent distribution company New Yorker Films helped launch Fassbinder’s works in the USA. Founded in 1981, the Lincoln Plaza Cinema showed The Buena Vista Social Club for over 26 weeks. It is one of the world’s most successful art film theatres.

For films presented in Competition, the International Jury is obliged to award

The Golden Bear awarded to the best film (for the producer)
The Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear)
The Best Director prize (Silver Bear)
The Best Actress prize (Silver Bear)
The Best Actor prize (Silver Bear)
The prize for an artistic contribution (Silver Bear)
The prize for the best film music (Silver Bear)

The Jury also awards the Blue Angel Prize, awarded in tribute to Marlene Dietrich, for the Best European Film and the Alfred Bauer Prize, awarded in memory of the Festival founder, for a work of particular innovation.

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