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Berlinale 2008: Oscar winner Costa-Gavras to be Jury President

The Greek-French director Costa-Gavras will be the President of the International Jury of the Berlinale 2008.

The Greek-born director, now living in France, is one of the most renowned representatives of dedicated, political film. His works have received many awards; his film Z is widely considered one of the classics of political cinema. Costa-Gavras is also President of the French Cinemathèque.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to win over such a great director as Costa-Gavras as Jury President”, says Berlinale Director, Dieter Kosslick. “His work is both social critique and high art.”

After completing his studies at the Paris film institute, Costa-Gavras celebrated his directing debut in 1965 with the film The Sleeping Car Murders. He achieved his international breakthrough in 1969 with the political thriller Z, which received two Oscars, one for Best Foreign Language Film and one for Best Film Editing. His extensive work also includes Missing (1981, starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek, Oscar for Best Screenplay; and in Cannes 1982 the Palme d'Or, as well as Best Actor Award for Jack Lemmon) about the military putsch in Chile, Betrayed (1988, featuring Debra Winger and Tom Berenger) about racism in the USA, and Music Box (with Armin Mueller-Stahl and Jessica Lange), for which Costa-Gavras won the Golden Bear at the 1990 Berlinale.

In 2002, Costa-Gavras’ Amen (with Ulrich Tukur and Ulrich Mühe) was shown in the Competition section of the Berlinale. The film adaptation of the play “Der Stellvertreter” (“The Deputy”) by Rolf Hochhuth addresses the Vatican’s involvement with National Socialism.

In March 2008, after his Jury presidency at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival, Costa-Gavras will begin working on his next film. After nearly 40 years he will return to Greece, the country of his birth, to shoot his new film Eden is West.

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