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M Night Shyamalan named jury head for Berlinale 2022

The writer-director's breakthrough film The Sixth Sense (1999) was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.

Photo: Courtesy M Night Shyamalan on Instagram

Our Correspondent

Oscar-nominated filmmaker M Night Shyamalan has been named the president of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival's international jury. The event is being held from 10 to 20 February 2022.

Shyamalan, who was born in Mahé, Puducherry, had his Hollywood breakthrough with The Sixth Sense (1999) which was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. The 51-year-old, an alumnus of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, made his first feature film Praying with Anger in Chennai. The film was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1992.

His latest film Old (2021) stars Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff and Thomasin McKenzie.

The filmmaker made the announcement in a short video, stating "This is a huge thing for me because I began my career at film festivals. I've always felt that was the way I was going to enter the world and talk to people. For me, film festivals are places where new voices get to be heard for the first time, and to be a part of hearing these new set of voices in Berlin, it's beyond an honour and something I'm looking forward [to], just to be inspired and to learn from all these new filmmakers."

The upcoming edition of Berlinale will be an in-person event, but online formats of certain programmes and film markets will be available for those who are not able to travel.

In a statement, Berlinale directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said, "We’re very pleased to bring the festival back to the big screen in February: with a multifaceted programme, the red carpet, stars and the amazing Berlinale audiences. The need for a physical festival experience and face-to-face encounters is strongly evident in both the industry and the public. The experiences of the last months have shown that on-location events can take place safely and successfully, and how important they are for dialogue and exchange."

The rest of the jury members will be announced in the coming weeks.

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