Former Focus Features chief James Schamus will preside over the Berlin Film Festival jury next month; the group will select the Golden and Silver Bear winners of the main competition. Schamus has appeared in the Berlin competition before, notably with Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet which won the Golden Bear in 1993 and which Schamus wrote and produced. “James Schamus knows the balancing act between Hollywood’s studio system and art-house cinema better than anyone,” the festival said today. (The erudite writer/producer left prestige film label Focus back in October amid a reshuffle which ultimately led to the shuttering of Focus Features International, making this the first time the division will not be selling its movies at Berlin’s European Film Market.) The other members of the jury this year include James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli; Danish actress Trine Dyrholm; Iranian filmmaker Mitra Faharani, U.S. actress Greta Gerwig, French director Michel Gondry, Chinese actor Tony Leung and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz. The festival runs from February 6-16 and opens with the in competition world premiere of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. A handful of other compeition pics have also been revealed.
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