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by Peter Knegt
February 6, 2014 10:53 AM
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Berlin: James Schamus Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman at Festival's Opening Press Conference

James Schamus in Berlin. Peter Knegt

James Schamus was on hand at the Berlin International Film Festival this morning to ring in the start of his tenure as head of this year's competition jury. At a press conference also featuring his fellow jurors Greta Gerwig, Christoph Waltz, Michel Gondry, Barbara Broccoli, Trine Dyrholm, Mitra Farahani and Tony Leung, Schamus talked about how much he was looking forward to his festival experience, but things turned sombre when a journalist asked about his thoughts on the recent passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

"That news was pretty tough on all of us in the business," Schamus said. "And Philip Seymour Hoffman will be here. There's going to be a screening and I know a lot of his friends are going to be joining together to remember him.  It's places like Berlin where you have the opportunity -- in a sense -- to remember and to mourn and to celebrate. I think that the festival is doing it's best to make sure that he'll be here."

The screening Schamus references is of Bennett Miller's "Capote," the film that won Hoffman an Oscar. It will screen at the CinemaxX 6 on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 9.00 pm. "Capote" had screened in competition at the festival in 2006. Notably, Hoffman also made his way to the festival for Richard Kwietniowski’s "Owning Mahowny," Spike Lee’s "25th Hour," Anthony Minghella’s "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and Paul Thomas Anderson’s "Magnolia," which won the Golden Bear.

Schamus and company will decide who wins this year's Golden Bear next weekend.

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