Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has made it to the international jury of the 61st Berlin film festival to be held next month.

Although his film Peepli Live is out of the Oscar race, the 45-year-old actor himself is going places. He is one of the seven jury members who will pick the winner of the prestigious Golden and Silver Bear prizes at the festival to be held here from February 10 to 20.

Led by Italian-American actor Isabella Rossellini, the jury includes Australian film producer Jan Chapman, German actor Nina Hoss, Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell, and Iranian director Jafar Panahi.

‘Worldwide protest'

Since Panahi was sentenced for six years' imprisonment in December last and banned from filmmaking for the next 20 years, his place on the jury will be left symbolically empty.

“There has been worldwide protest against this verdict that violates the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The Berlinale is holding a place open in the Jury for Jafar Panahi and in doing so wants to signalise its support for his struggle for freedom,” said the Berlinale website.

The festival features 22 films in the main programme, including 16 in the competition section.

Opening

One of the world's top film festivals, Berlinale will open with a remake of the classic — True Grit by Oscar-winning brothers Joel and Ethan Coen.