Meryl Streep for inclusion as Berlinale jury head

Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep praises equality and inclusion at Berlin film festival premiering as jury president in the German capital.

BERLIN, GERMANY (Reuters) – Meryl Streep said on Thursday that she relished the opportunity to head up her first international film jury in Berlin because it is a festival of world cinema and because all of humanity originated in Africa.

Streep, serving for the first time on a film jury, made the comment at a press conference when she was asked if she was familiar with world cinema, and particularly films from Africa and the Middle East. She said she had recently seen the Jordanian film “Theeb” about a Bedouin boy on a hazardous mission in the desert, and also the film “Timbuktu” about Islamist militants taking over the fabled Malian city. She then said that all of humanity originates from Africa.

Noting that her seven-member, majority female jury included a film critic and a photographer as well as actors and actresses, she said the panel would have diverse viewpoints. She also said it was a credit to the Berlinale that the majority of the competition jury is women.