Tilda Swinton to head jury at Berlin Film Fest

Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:20pm EST
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Britain's Tilda Swinton, who won the Academy Award for best supporting actress this year, will be the jury president of the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, organizers said on Wednesday.

Swinton, who won the Oscar for her performance as a shifty lawyer in the legal thriller "Michael Clayton," also founded, co-curated and produced a film festival this year in Nairn, Scotland where she lives.

"I'm pleased that the wonderful Tilda Swinton will be our jury president in 2009," said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick. "Her commanding screen presence has made an indelible impression on contemporary, innovative filmmaking."

Swinton, 48, has appeared in 14 films in the Berlinale. She has forged a successful career by tackling unconventional roles, switching easily between large Hollywood productions and small European art house films.

Swinton was born in London and attended West Heath Girls' School alongside the young Lady Diana Spencer. She had her big film break in 1992 when she took the gender-bending title role of a nobleman in the art-house hit "Orlando."

She achieved Hollywood stardom when she appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Beach" (2000) and in the critically acclaimed independent film, "The Deep End" in 2001.

The 59th annual Berlinale runs from February 5-15, 2009.

(Writing by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>British actress Tilda Swinton poses during a photocall in Venice, August 27, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>