As we head into fall festivals full tilt, some exciting news from one of the world’s top winter fests: Director Wong Kar Wai will head the jury of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival 2013 (February 7-17). This isn’t Wong’s first time presiding over a prestigious festival jury — he headed the Cannes jury in 2006, when Ken Loach’s “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” took home the Palme d’Or.
Any festival mention of Wong begs the question: When will the fest circuit see his long-gestating Yip Man biopic, “The Grandmasters”? Can it play in competition in Berlin if he’s the jury chief, or will it wait for yet another Cannes? The film is slated for a release in China in December.
Wong, director of Sight & Sound’s second-youngest film, “In The Mood for Love,” as well as the beloved “Chungking Express” and “2046,” stated: “I am truly honoured by Dieter’s invite. I am also very happy to return to Berlin and see the latest work of filmmakers from all over the world. It would be a fulfilling experience for any cineaste.”
Last year’s Jury President was Mike Leigh (“Another Year,” “Secrets & Lies”). More on Wong Kar Wai’s career below:
Wong Kar Wai was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong. He made his directorial debut in 1988 with As Tears Go By. His work Days of Being Wild, which screened in the Berlinale Forum in 1991, was followed in 1994 by Chungking Express, the film with which Wong Kar Wai achieved his international breakthrough. He again demonstrated his remarkable talent in his Berlinale contribution Fallen Angels (Forum,1996). In 1997 he won the Award for Best Director in Cannes for Happy Together. He captivated still another generation of European moviegoers with the nostalgic love story In the Mood for Love (2000), which received a César in 2001, as well as with his next film, 2046, which won a European Film Award for Best Non-European Film in 2004. My Blueberry Nights (2007) was the first film that Wong Kar Wai shot in the USA and cast with Hollywood stars.