A film historian and former international publishing director of Variety magazine, Peter Cowie has written more than 30 books on major figures and eras of world cinema, including Bergman, Welles, Coppola and Kurosawa. He published and edited the annual International Film Guide for 40 years and has contributed numerous commentaries to Criterion’s DVD collection. He has been a consultant to Berlinale Talents since the programme’s inception in 2003.
Celebrated American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of the outstanding talents of her generation. After studying literature at Columbia University in New York and acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she became known for her roles in Donnie Darko (dir: Richard Kelly, 2001) and in Spike Jonze’s Berlinale Competition entry Adaptation (2002). Her big breakthrough came when she played the lead in the film Secretary (dir: Steven Shainberg, 2002). For it she received her first Golden Globe nomination and won several awards, including an IFP/Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance. She went on to star in, e.g., Mike Newell’s Mona Lisa Smile (2003), Marc Forster’s Stranger than Fiction (2006), Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (2006), Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), Sam Mendes’s Away We Go (2009), and Roland Emmerich’s White House Down (2013). For her role in Scott Cooper’s Crazy Heart (2009) she was nominated for an Oscar®. In 2014 she headlined the British TV series The Honourable Woman, for which she garnered a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination. Gyllenhaal, who in recent years has performed on Broadway, is currently cast to star in The Deuce, a new HBO series that she is also producing.
After studying mathematics and physics, Paul Verhoeven turned to filmmaking in the mid-1960s. His erotic thriller TURKISH DELIGHT (1973) was a big hit in the Netherlands and garnered an Academy Awards nomination, while SOLDIER OF ORANGE (1977) was nominated for a Golden Globe. Moving to Hollywood, he made ROBOCOP (1987), TOTAL RECALL (1990), BASIC INSTINCT (1992), which was nominated for two Academy Awards, STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997) and HOLLOW MAN (2000). He then returned to the Netherlands to film BLACK BOOK (2006) and to focus on writing. Most recently, his film ELLE (2016) won two Golden Globe Awards.