The Berlin Film Festival has selected award-winning British director Mike Leigh to head the jury at next year's annual competition (February 9-17). In a statement, the festival said, "Over the course of his nearly 40-year film career, Mike Leigh has distinguished himself as one of the most outstanding film-makers of auteur cinema and protagonists of New British Cinema." Ironically, Leigh has won top awards at the two other major film festivals in Europe but not at the "Berlinale." He received the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 for Naked and the Palme d'Or in 1996 for Secrets and Lies. His 2004 film Vera Drake won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival.