LONDON: Indian-American filmmaker M Night Shyamalan has been announced as the president of the international jury for the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival.
The news was shared by the festival organisers in a statement posted on the official website.
Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian said he is "pleased and honoured" that Shyamalan accepted the festival's invitation to head the jury.
"Throughout his career, he's shaped a universe in which fears and desires stand side by side, where young people are not only the protagonists but also the driving force for overcoming dread.
"Within the US movie business, Shyamalan is a unique figure, a filmmaker that has remained faithful to his vision. This truthfulness to one's ideal is also what we are looking for in our selection," Chatrian said.
Shyamalan is a known figure in Hollywood, courtesy his blockbuster thriller movies such as "The Sixth Sense", "Unbreakable", "Signs", "The Village", "Split" and most recently "Old".
The 51-year-old filmmaker said it is "deeply meaningful" for him to be a part of the Berlin Film Festival.
"I have always felt like an independent filmmaker within the system of Hollywood. It is exactly those things in us that are different and unorthodox that define our voice. I have tried to maintain these things in myself and cheer others on to protect those aspects in their art and in themselves," Shyamalan said.
"Being asked to be a part of Berlinale is deeply meaningful to me. It represents the highest imprimatur for a filmmaker. Being able to support and celebrate the world's very best talent in storytelling is a gift I happily accepted," he added.
Berlinale will return to being an in-person event with its 72nd edition, which will be held from February 10 to 20, 2022.
The festival was one of the last major international festivals to be held in person before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, the festival was held in an online-only format.
The organisers have said the 2022 festival programming would be "roughly similar" to Berlinale's pre-COVID-19 edition in 2020.
Short films, which were struck from the Generation sidebar for this year's festival, will return to the section in 2022.