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Feb 6, 2018

Berlinale Camera 2018: Awards for Beki Probst, Katriel Schory and Jiří Menzel

Since the award’s inception in 1986, the Berlin International Film Festival has been honouring individuals and institutions from the world of film that the festival feels particularly connected to with the Berlinale Camera, as a token of gratitude for their contributions to cinema.
For the 68th edition of the Berlinale, three individuals have been chosen to receive the Berlinale Camera: the President of the European Film Market Beki Probst (Switzerland), producer and executive director of the Israel Film Fund Katriel Schory (Israel) and director and actor Jiří Menzel (Czech Republic).

Beki Probst, President of the European Film Market (Switzerland)
Beki Probst is considered the grande dame of the film world. Under her direction, the European Film Market has developed into one of the largest and most important trade fairs for cinema on the international scene. Dieter Kosslick congratulates his long-time colleague and friend on 30 years of successful work: “Without Beki Probst and her contacts worldwide, her charm and cosmopolitan gift for combining business and culture, the EFM would never have become such a successful platform and the strong backbone of the festival.” Beki Probst was born in Istanbul, where she first worked as a journalist after completing her studies in law and journalism. In 1960, Probst moved to Switzerland, where she became the general manager of the Probst-Kinobetriebe, known today as Quinnie Cinemas. From 1981 to 1988, Beki Probst served as the Berlin International Film Festival's official delegate for Turkey and Greece. Up until 1995 she also served as a member of the selection committee for Locarno International Film Festival. From 1988 to 2014, Beki Probst was the director of the Berlinale’s European Film Market – Probst rebranded the former “film fair” as the European Film Market and subsequently transformed the event into one of the most significant industry meet-ups for the international film business. In addition, from 1988 to 1996 Beki Probst was artistic director of the Geneva-based festival “Stars de Démain”. She has served as a jury member on multiple occasions at international film festivals, including appearances in Toronto, Jerusalem and San Sebastián. In 1992 Beki Probst was decorated as “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture.

Beki Probst will be honoured with the Berlinale Camera on Friday, February 16, 2018, at 11.30 at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau.

Katriel Schory, Producer and Executive Director of the Israel Film Fund (Israel)
Katriel Schory has made a significant impact on the world of Israeli cinema. As executive director of the Israel Film Fund, he has enabled the funding and the production of 240 Israeli feature films, many of them international co-productions. In addition, he has made a considerable contribution to cultural exchange through his commitment to advancing co-operations between Israel and Europe.
After completing his studies at New York University Film School, Katriel Schory returned to Israel in 1973, where he became head of production at Jerusalem’s Kastel Films, Israel’s leading production company at the time. In 1984 he founded BELFILMS LTD and produced over 130 films, including award-winning fiction features, documentary films, films for television and international co-productions. In 1999 he assumed the position of executive director of the Israel Film Fund, which supports Israeli full length narrative feature films.

Katriel Schory will be honoured with the Berlinale Camera on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at the event ‘Dancing Foxtrot’ at 14.00 at Berlin’s HAU2 theatre.

Jiří Menzel, Director and Actor (Czech Republic)
Jiří Menzel is considered a master of comedy and a central protagonist of the Czech New Wave. The Academy Award recipient was not permitted to practice his art in the ČSSR for long periods of time in reprisal for the biting satire of his early films. His film Larks on a String, which was banned in 1969 after the brutal suppression of the Prague Spring, celebrated its world premiere 21 years later at the Berlinale, where it was honoured with the Golden Bear.
Jiří Menzel was already busy producing diverse short films during his studies at the Prague film academy FAMU. After graduation, he took on smaller acting roles and served as a director’s assistant, before realising his debut feature, Closely Watched Trains, in 1966 – the film went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1968. After the banning of Larks on a String, Menzel was primarily employed in theatres in the CSSR and abroad, as well as working for Swedish television. In the mid 1970s he returned to directing films. In the 1990s, Menzel was again primarily active as a director at various theatres in Prague and on stages across Europe, including the Comédie-Française.
This year, Jiří Menzel can be seen as an actor in Martin Sulík’s film The Interpreter in the programme of Berlinale Special. Jiří Menzel will be honoured with the Berlinale Camera at the film’s world premiere on Friday, February 23, 2018, at 20.00 at Berlin’s Kino International cinema.

Modelled on a real film camera, the Berlinale Camera trophy features 128 finely crafted individual components. The unique award is a product of the artistry of Düsseldorf-based goldsmith Georg Hornemann.

Press Office
February 6, 2018