Camera aimed at Meszaros

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It has been more than 30 years since Hungarian director Marta Meszaros became the first woman to win Berlin's Golden Bear — for her 1975 film "Adoption" — and more than a decade since she last had a film here, but this year she knew ahead of time she would be honored.

At a gala presentation Tuesday at the Palast, festival director Dieter Kosslick bestowed the Berlinale Camera — given every year since 1986 as a "way of expressing thanks" — on Meszaros, a special award to film personalities to whom the festival "feels especially attached."

Tuesday's recipients also included Italian journalist and documentary writer Gianni Mina and former Hollywood Reporter correspondent, cineaste and longtime Berlin resident Ron Holloway and his actress wife Dorothea Moritz. Holloway "contributed to the diversification of the festival program" from the mid-1970s and Moritz has been a selector since 1988.

Meszaros, now 75, credits her Golden Bear with launching her career as a director internationally.

"The film became world famous; I traveled throughout the world with it and more than 80 countries bought it," she said. "After the success of 'Adoption,' my name started to sound familiar in the world. For me, the Golden Bear meant that in the following years none of my film plans were rejected, even though they did not like my films in Hungary too much."

Meszaros, who won a Silver Bear here in 1987 for "Diary for My Loves" and last had a film in official selection in 1994 with "Fetus," still is making movies.

Her last film, 2004's "The Unburied Man," was a tribute to Imre Nagy, the Hungarian prime minister murdered by the Soviets after they crushed the 1956 uprising. She now is in preproduction on "Hanna Wende," a contemporary story about the friendship between two women, and researching another female tale, the true story of the friendship between Hungarian social democrat Anna Ketly and Golda Meir, Israel's only female prime minister.
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