Werner Herzog named Berlin jury head

President of the international jury for the 60th anniversary

BERLIN -- Werner Herzog will be president of the international jury for the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.

One of the most influential German directors of all time and a central figure in the 1970s New German Cinema movement, Herzog got his start in Berlin, where his feature film debut, "Signs of Life" (1968) won the Sliver Bear for best first film.

"Werner Herzog's films convey the artistic strength of cinema. We are very pleased to have this outstanding director as jury president for the 60th anniversary of the festival", said Berlin Festival director Dieter Kosslick. The 2010 Berlin Festival is set for Feb. 11-21.

Herzog has carved out a unique career in cinema with films such as "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" (1972), "Nosferatu, The Vampyre" (1979) -- which premiered in competition in Berlin -- and "Fitzcarraldo" (1982) as well as numerous acclaimed documentaries, including "Grizzly Man" (2005), the Oscar-nominated "Encounters at the end of the World" (2007) and "My Best Fiend" (1999) a examination of his turbulent working relationship with legendary German actor Klaus Kinski.

More recently, Herzog directed "Rescue Dawn" (2006) a Vietnam drama starring Christian Bale adapted from Herzog's own documentary "Little Dieter Needs to Fly" (1997).

The ever-prolific filmmaker had two films in competition in Venice this year -- Nicolas Cage starrer "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" and "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done" featuring Willem Dafoe and Chloe Sevigny.

The Bavarian director has cult status among many in the independent film world. This year, TIME Magazine selected Herzog as one of the world's 100 most influential people.