Berlin 2014: Ken Loach to Receive Honorary Golden Bear

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Ken Loach

The 64th Berlin festival will honor the veteran British director with an homage of his films and a lifetime achievement award.

Veteran British director Ken Loach will receive the honorary lifetime achievement Golden Bear at next year's Berlin International Film Festival.

Loach, currently in postproduction on political biopic Jimmy's Hall (reported to be his last film as a director), has appeared four times in competition in Berlin, most recently in 2004 with the romantic comedy Ae Fond Kiss. His many achievements include a Palme d'Or in Cannes for The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and a lifetime achievement honor at the European Film Awards, presented in 2009.

"Ken Loach is one of Europe's great directors. Over his almost 50-year career, he has shown an extraordinary degree of continuity, while remaining innovative at all times. His profound interest in people and their individual fates, as well as his critical commitment to society have found expression in a variety of cinematic approaches," says Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick. "We are honoring Ken Loach as a director and greatly admire him for how he reflects on social injustices with humor in his films."

For many years, Loach has been more greatly appreciated in mainland Europe than in the U.K., with the bulk of the financing for his films, and the largest portion of their box office, coming from the continent.

In addition to the Golden Bear, Berlin will also pay homage to the British filmmaker with special screenings of his work stretching across his half century in the business, from the TV movie Cathy Come Home (1966) through his international breakthrough Kes (1969) to My Name Is Joe (1998), Sweet Sixteen (2002) and Looking for Eric (2009).

Following the Golden Bear award ceremony in Berlin, the festival will screen arguably his most critically acclaimed feature, Raining Stones (1993).

The 64th Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 6-16.