Meryl Streep to head 2016 Berlin International Film Festival jury

BERLIN, GERMANY (REUTERS) - Meryl Streep, who during nearly 40 years in the movies has never served on a film festival jury, will be jury president for the 66th Berlin International Film Festival opening in February, the festival said on Wednesday.

"It is a thrill to return to the festival under any circumstances, but it is with great relish and anticipation I look forward to jury duty," Streep said in a statement issued by the festival, also known as the Berlinale, where she has been a guest on several occasions and won an award in 2003.

"The responsibility is somewhat daunting, as I have never been president of anything before, and I hope I can come up to the precedent set by the distinguished juries of preceding years. Grateful for the honour," she said.

Streep shared the Silver Bear award jointly in 2003 with Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman for their performances in The Hours. In 2012, the Berlinale gave her a lifetime achievement award and screened a selection of her films.

"Meryl Streep is one of the most creative and multifaceted film artists. To mark our enthusiasm for her extraordinary talent, we awarded her the Honourary Golden Bear in 2012 for her lifetime achievement," Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick said.

"I am very happy that she is returning to Berlin and with her artistic experience will take on the chairmanship of the International Jury."

The Berlinale, one of Europe's main showcases for film, opens on February 11.