French filmmaker and producer Claude Lanzmann, director of the landmark 1985 Holocaust documentary Shoah, will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
The festival will present the 87-year-old with the Honorary Golden Bear at a ceremony to be followed by a screening of his 2001 film Sobibor, 14 octobre 1943, 16 heures. It will also screen Lanzmann’s complete body of work in its Homage program, including Israel, Why? (1973), Shoah (1985), Tsahal (1985), A Visitor From the Living (1997) and The Karski Report (2010).
Born in Paris in 1925, Lanzmann fought in the French resistance against the Nazis as a teenager and later became a journalist, a supporter of the Algerian independence movement, and publisher of Les Temps Modernes, a political journal founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
He began his career in film with the 1972 documentary Israel, Why? His best known work is Shoah, a nine-and-a-half-hour oral history of the Holocaust, which debuted at the Berlinale Forum in 1986 and went on to receive several international accolades.
“Claude Lanzmann is one of the great documentarists,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick in a statement. “With his depictions of inhumanity and violence, of anti-Semitism and its consequences, he created a new kind of cinematic and ethical exploration. We feel honored to honor him.”
The Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 7 to 17, 2013.