Filmmaker Dea Kulumbegashvili picked for Berlinale Encounters jury panel

Dea Kulumbegashvili (right) will join Angeliki Papoulia and Paolo Moretti on the panel for the Encounters programme at the German festival. Photos via Berlin International Film Festival, 03 Feb 2023 - 14:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's award-winning film director Dea Kulumbegashvili will be one of the three judges working on selecting the best works from the films set to screen in the Encounters programme of the next edition of the Berlin International Film Festival this month.

Kulumbegashvili, a winner of prizes from the San Sebastián, Toronto and Trieste festivals and a nominee for honours from the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, European Film Awards and Cannes Film Festival, will join the panel for the section showcasing "independent, innovative filmmakers".

The announcement from Berlinale, made on Wednesday, said she would join Greece's Angeliki Papoulia and Italy's Paolo Moretti on the panel for the section.

Conceived as a counterpoint and a complement to Competition, Encounters is a competitive section devoted to new cinematic visions. The films selected will challenge traditional forms and ask viewers to reconsider their positions in relation to them

- Berlinale summary for Encounters

They will deliberate on which films to select for the Best Film, Special Jury Award and Best Director prizes of the section, out of 15 works set to screen in the programme. The selections range from Sonne by Kurdwin Ayub to We by Alice Diop and Orphea by Alexander Kluge and Khavn.

For Kulumbegashvili, her selection for the panel follows international success of her works over the recent years, from the Toronto and Trieste festival awards for the 2020 debut feature Beginning to the Cannes nomination of the 2016 short Léthé.

Another short work from the director, Invisible Spaces, won the Best International Short Film prize at the 2015 Rome Independent Film Festival and the Best Actress award for Nino Shengelaia at the 2014 Bosphorus Film Festival.

In 2021, she was nominated for the European Film Award for Beginning, with the Georgian-French co-production praised as a "debut film displaying a rare authorial confidence, as well as pure stylistic coherence". The feature was also picked as Georgia's bid for the 2021 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.