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It's Official: Lee Young-ae Picked for Berlin Film Fest Jury

2006/01/10 | Permalink | Source

Korean actress Lee Young-ae has been selected for the jury of the 56th Berlin International Film Festival set to open on Feb. 9.

The star was picked along with some eight other jury members who will work together to determine the winner of the Golden Bear and other awards from 20 films from around the world in the official competition, Lee Ju-yeol, a spokesman for the actress' agency, has confirmed.

This marks the first time that a Korean actress has been invited to sit on a jury at one of the world's three big film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Berlin. Several Chinese actresses have sat on Berlin juries over the last few years: Maggie Chung in 1997, Michelle Yeoh in 1999 and Gong Li in 2000.

But Lee Young-ae's agency is upset at media coverage of her selection, which broke an unwritten rule to keep selections confidential until the festival organizers make it public.

Lee Young-ae received the invitation from the organizing committee on Sept. 29, but it asked the actress to keep it a secret until it made its own official announcement of the list of films invited for the official competition and the jury on Saturday.

The agency says it complied.

But after 100 days and with only five more to go, the cat was out of the bag on Monday. As soon as a programmer of the Pusan Film Festival told an Internet news outlet that a Korean had been included in the jury, the entertainment media burned the midnight oil posting hundreds of speculative articles that tended to settle on Lee as the likeliest choice. Around midnight, after a Pusan Film Festival official posted an article confirming the actress's selection, the agency said this was correct. "We want to ask the Pusan Film Festival what right they have to deprive us of our entitlement" to make the announcement, the spokesman said. "I felt miserable when I had to sit down and write an e-mail explaining the circumstances to the Berlin Film Festival".

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