M. Night Shyamalan to lead Berlin film fest jury

Berlin (AFP) –


US director M. Night Shyamalan will head up the jury at the 72nd Berlin film festival in February, set to be held as an in-person event after this year's hybrid edition due to the pandemic.

The Indian-born American filmmaker shot to fame in 1999 with the psychological thriller "The Sixth Sense" starring Bruce Willis which garnered six Oscar nominations.

The 51-year-old has since made supernatural-tinged, suspense-driven features such as "The Visit" and last year's "Old" as well as the television series "Wayward Pines".

The festival's artistic director Carlo Chatrian said in a statement that he was "pleased and honoured" Shyamalan had accepted the invitation to serve as jury president.

"Within the US movie business Shyamalan is a unique figure, a filmmaker that has remained faithful to his vision," he said.

"This truthfulness to one's ideal is also what we are looking for in our selection."

Shyamalan said he was looking forward to judging the international line-up at the Berlinale, the first major European cinema showcase of the year which ranks along with Cannes and Venice among the continent's top film festivals.

"Being able to support and celebrate the world's very best talent in storytelling is a gift I happily accepted," he said.

The Berlinale, as the event is known, will be held February 10-20.

This year's winner of the competition for the Golden Bear top prize was Romanian social satire "Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn".

The event was held in two parts, with an online edition in March followed by open-air screenings in the summer as the coronavirus pandemic eased.