Paul Verhoeven Named Jury President Of 2017 Berlin Film Festival

Michael Buckner, Deadline

Dutch director and screenwriter Paul Verhoeven, whose varied career includes credits such as Oscar-nominated Turkish Delight, RoboCop and Total Recall, will serve as jury president of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.

Verhoeven’s latest film Elle, which marked his return to the director’s seat after many years of focusing on writing, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to critical acclaim. It opens German cinemas on February 2, 2017.

“With Paul Verhoeven as jury president, we have a filmmaker who has worked in a variety of genres in Europe and Hollywood,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. “His creative, multifaceted boldness and his willingness to experiment are reflected in the spectrum of his works.”

Berlinale last welcomed the acclaimed filmmaker at its 2013 Berlinale Talent Campus (known today as Berlinale Talents), where he gave insight into his work methods and his perspective on production landscapes in the U.S. and Europe.

Verhoeven has had a colorful career: Following studies in mathematics and physics, he turned his attention to film in the mid-1960s. He began his directing career in 1969 with the hit Dutch TV series Floris. After his feature film debut Business is Business in 1971, about two prostitutes who dream of a conventional middle-class life, he made headlines with his erotic thriller Turkish Delight in 1973. That film earned a Best Foreign Language nomination at the 1974 Oscars. He directed Soldier of Orange, which was nominated for a Golden Globe and The Fourth Man before he moved to Hollywood.

The transatlantic move saw him behind the lense for box-office sci-fi hits such as RoboCop  and Total Recall. His provocative erotic thriller Basic Instinct shot Sharon Stone to stardom and was nominated for two Oscars. He’s also directed films such as Starship Troopers and Hollow Man.

After nearly two decades in Hollywood, Verhoeven moved back to the Netherlands to film WWII Dutch resistance fighter story Black Book.

His latest title, Elle, stars Isabelle Huppert who plays a woman whose forays through the depths of sado-masochism help her transcend childhood trauma. It’s up for three European Film Awards as well as two U.S. Critics’ Choice Awards.

The Berlin Film Festival runs February 9- 18, 2017.

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