A jury president has been found in the highly talented young director Matthias Luthardt. “I am very much looking forward to experiencing this German-French encounter and to learning about the individual views of the jury members on the latest German productions. The jury presidency also offers me the great opportunity to discover the current issues and the different narrative forms of young German film makers.“
After studying French, German language and literature and rhetorics in Tübingen, Paris and Hamburg, Matthias Luthardt attended the film academy „Konrad Wolf“ in Potsdam-Babelsberg from 1998 to 2005. In 2001/2002 he completed the Masterclass of the German-French Film Academy in Baden-Württemberg and of the FEMIS in Paris.
With his first feature film Pingpong Matthias Luthardt was invited to the „Semaine de la Critique“ at the Cannes festival in 2006, where he won two prizes: the SACD (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques) award for the best script and the “Prize of the (Very) Young Critic” awarded by the FGYO-TV5MONDE student jury. Later, his film received further awards, among others the „Förderpreis Deutscher Film“ for the best screen-play at the Munich film festival, the prize for the best film at the Brussels film festival and the Jury Grand Prix Bronze Gryphon at the Giffoni festival in Italy. In 2006 Pingpong was also nominated by the European Film Academy for the Fassbinder-Preis for ”Best European Discovery”. Finally, Pingpong was highly acclaimed in French theatres. After this success, Matthias Luthardt contributed to the episodic documentary Jesus liebt dich (Jesus Loves You), which was part of the Berlinale Perspektive Deutsches Kino programme in 2008. On the occasion of his jury presidency, he will present his feature film Der Tag, an dem ich meinen toten Mann traf in a Perspektive-special during the Berlinale 2009. Most recently he took part in the huge multimedia project 24h Berlin, which portrays the disrupted but vital city of Berlin, 20 years after the fall of the Wall.