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In the Limelight: Tilda Swinton

Peter Cowie, Tilda Swinton
Her film debut in Caravaggio in 1986 was the first of seven critically acclaimed collaborations with director Derek Jarman over a period of ten years. The fiercely talented Scottish actress, Tilda Swinton began her career as a leading lady of European art cinema, working also with directors like John Maybury and Sally Potter and earning recognition for her dazzling and complex lead performance in the Academy Award-nominated Orlando (1992).

Hollywood too picked up on her commanding on-screen presence and since 1997, she has successfully moved between the deep-left art house and quality Hollywood blockbusters. The thriller The Deep End (2001) earned her a number of critic‘s awards and her first Golden Globe nomination, her 2008 Oscar decorated performance in the legal thriller Michael Clayton and her iconic White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008), as well as the recent Burn After Reading are only a few examples of her stunning performances which have cemented her place as one of cinema‘s most outstanding women. In 2008, Swinton wrote and co-produced a remarkable film portrait of Jarman – Derek – directed by Isaac Julien and presented at the 2008 Berlinale Panorama. In the same year, she founded, cocurated and produced a film festival in her hometown Nairn, Scotland: The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams.

Jury president of the 59th Berlin International Film Festival, Tilda Swinton reflects on the defining moments in her illustrious career, her extraordinary work in art and experimental projects and her effortless switching between large Hollywood productions and European art house films.
Peter Cowie

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.

Tilda Swinton

Academy, BAFTA and Coppa Volpi award-winning Scottish actress known for both art house and mainstream films, she worked in seven critically acclaimed films of director Derek Jarman. President of the International Jury of the Berlinale in 2009, her portfolio of films is vast, and her ventures include MICHAEL CLAYTON (2007), BURN AFTER READING (2008), THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008) and MOONRISE KINGDOM (2012).