Kristen Stewart named youngest-ever Berlin film fest jury chief

Cast member Kristen Stewart attends a news conference for the film `Cafe Society` out of competition before the opening of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, 11 May, 2016.Reuters

US actor Kristen Stewart will in February head up the jury at Berlin's international film festival, Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year, organisers said Friday.

The Berlinale, as the event is known, told AFP that Stewart, 32, would be the youngest person in its 73-year history to lead the panel selecting the winners of the Golden and Silver Bear top prizes.

Festival chiefs Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian called the star of "Spencer" and the "Twilight" movies "one of the most talented and multi-faceted actors of her generation".

Actor Kristen Stewart poses at the screening of the film "Seberg" in competition in the 76th Venice Film Festival- Red Carpet Arrivals - Venice, Italy on 30 August 2019.

"Young, shining and with an impressive body of work behind her, Kristen Stewart is the perfect bridge between US and Europe," they said in a statement.

Considered one of Hollywood's major young talents, Stewart began her career as a child actor, starring alongside Jodie Foster in David Fincher's "Panic Room".

The five-part "Twilight" saga made her and Robert Pattinson global superstars. Both have harnessed their box office bankability to pursue projects with independent directors on each side of the Atlantic.

Actress Kristen Stewart attends during the red carpet event for the movie "Equals" at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, northern Italy September 5, 2015. Photo: Reuters

In 2015, Stewart became the first American to win France's Cesar film award, for her role alongside Juliette Binoche in "Clouds of Sils Maria".

Two years later she marked her directorial and screenwriting debut with the short film "Come Swim" and in 2018 served on the main jury at the Cannes film festival.

She was nominated for an Academy Award as best actress for her turn as Princess Diana in Pablo Larrain's 2021 drama "Spencer".

Cast member Kristen Stewart poses during a photocall for the film `Personal Shopper` in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 17, 2016.

The Berlinale, which will run February 16-26, ranks with Cannes and Venice among Europe's top three film festivals and serves as an early annual launchpad for the industry.

Spanish director Carla Simon won the Golden Bear for best film this year for "Alcarras", a Catalan drama about peach farmers.

Organisers announced last month that three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg, 75, would attend the event to pick up an Honorary Golden Bear prize for lifetime achievement.