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And the Winner Is . . .
by Birgit Schrumpf

Who will be the winner and receive the Golden Bear for 2015? This is the question that had to be answered by an international jury of seven competent film professionals having to choose from a pool of 19 films entered in the Berlinale Competition. Their decision for which entries are taking home the coveted Golden Bear and Silver Bear prizes is based on a diversity of experience and opinion across several nationalities and professions.
The jury, headed by the president Darren Aronofsky, are Daniel Brühl, Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentiis, Matthew Weiner, Claudia Llosa und Audrey Tautou.

Darren Aronofsky (USA) studied at Harvard University and launched his career with the film Pi in 1998, winning the award for Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival. With the cult film The Fountain he was in Venice and again with The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion in 2008, enabling actor Mickey Rourke’s sensational comeback. Director Aronofsky’s wide range can be witnessed in films as divers as Black Swan (2011), a psychological thriller in the world of ballet and his bible drama Noah released in 2014.

Daniel Brühl (Germany) - born as Daniel César Martín Brühl González Domingo - had his breakthrough in 2003 with the internationally acclaimed film Good Bye, Lenin!, which screened in the Competition of the Berlinale and for which he received the European Film Award. He is one of the few German actors who started a successful international career, working together with Anton Corbijn in A Most Wanted Man, Quentin Tarantino in Inglourious Basterds and recently with Michael Winterbottom in The Face of an Angel. Following various productions in Germany, Spain, France and the US, Daniel Brühl received numerous awards, including a Golden Globe Award for his work in Ron Howard’s Rush. Alongside Helen Mirren he introduced his most recent role in Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold at the Berlinale.

Bong Joon-ho (South Korea) was born in Seoul in 1969, studied sociology before working as a screenwriter and making short films on his own. Memories of Murder was screened at the San Sebastian film festival and received numerous awards. Following the world premiere of The Host in Cannes 2006, it became the biggest box office hit ever in South Korea. With his film Mother he was again invited to Cannes in 2009. His English language film debut Snowpiercer, with celebrities like Tilda Swinton and John Hurt, was screened in the 2014 selection of the Berlinale Forum program.

Martha De Laurentiis (USA) founded the De Laurentiis Company together with her husband Dino in 1980. More than 40 feature films and television series have since been produced, including Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive, The Bedroom Window by Curtis Hanson. The company is also an executive producer of the Hannibal Television series. Starring Mads Mikkelsen, it has entered its third successful season in the US.

Claudia Llosa (Peru) completed her Communication Studies in Lima, Peru, and later continued with scriptwriting studies in Madrid, Spain. Before starting her own film production she had a career in advertising. The film Milk of Sorrow, funded by the WCF, won the Golden Bear in the Berlinale Competition in 2012 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Her English-language film debut Aloft stars Jennifer Connelly, Mélanie Laurent and Cillian Murphy.

Audrey Tautou (France) started her film debut in the comedy Venus Beauty Institute for which she received the César Award. Her international breakthrough came in 2001 with her role in Amélie. Other films in her repertoire include the acclaimed LAuberge Espagnole trilogy, Alain Resnais’ Not on the Lips and Salvadori’s Priceless. The French actress could also show her diversity and talent in international productions such as The Da Vinci Code and Stephen Frear’s Dirty Pretty Things.

Matthew Weiner (USA) is the creator, writer executive-producer of Mad Men. His successful and critically acclaimed television series, started in 2007, currently in its seventh and last season in the US. Weiner has received numerous awards recognizing his work on the series, including nine Emmys, two BAFTAS and three Golden Globes. With Are You Here he entered his feature film debut as a writer, director and producer. Some other of his well-known television series are The Naked Truth and The Sopranos.