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CineMerit Award for ‘Udo Kier’ at Munich Film Festival

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MUMBAI: The festival's CineMerit Award is a tribute to the actor whose career spans Europe and Hollywood. "Udo Kier is an actor who leaves a lasting impression, no matter what the role", says festival director Diana Iljine in a statement. "He is an actor who is not afraid to take chances. And many of them have paid off. Udo Kier himself is a work of art."

Since 1997, Filmfest München has honored outstanding personalities in the international film community with the CineMerit Award for extraordinary contributions to motion pictures as an art form. Previous recipients include actors Julie Christie, John Malkovich and Michael Caine as well as the directors Michael Haneke, Barry Levinson and Milos Forman.

Udo Kier will be presented the 2014 CineMerit Award on 30 June in Munich at a gala ceremony which will also include the world premiere of his latest film "Arteholic", in which director Hermann Vaske accompanies art-obsessed Udo Kier through some of Europe's greatest museums. As part of its homage, the festival will be showing five additional films with Kier.

Udo Kier, born in Köln-Mülheim in 1944, is one of the few German actors to become well-known in Hollywood. In the course of his career, he has acted in over 160 feature films. He is particularly loved for his portrayal of diabolical characters and villains such as Baron Frankenstein, Count Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll and the devil. He was and is the muse of many artists and directors such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Andy Warhol, Christoph Schlingensief and Lars von Trier.

His international breakthrough came 1973/74 with two Andy Warhol productions, among them Andy Warhol's Frankenstein. Rainer Werner Fassbinder worked with him on Lili Marleen, Lola and Berlin Alexanderplatz. Director Christoph Schlingensief cast Kier in many of his films.

Udo Kier made his first Hollywood film in 1991, in Gus van Sant's My Own Private Idaho in which he acted alongside Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. He has been working with Lars von Trier since 1987 and has been in nine of von Trier's films, including Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Melancholia and most recently, Nymphomaniac.

Udo Kier has acted in Hollywood blockbusters such as Armageddon or End of Days, horror, vampire and trash movies as well as artistic ventures such as Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. He has worked with Nicole Kidman, Isabella Rossellini, Catherine Deneuve, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Wesley Snipes, Michael Caine, to name just a few.

Kier still acts in stage productions and often works with artists in other fields. He has appeared in the music videos of artists such as U2 or Madonna, with whom he posed for photos in her book, Sex, and sang The Eagle for which he composed the lyrics, in My Own Private Idaho.

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