The festival hand out a number of special prizes including a Berlinale Camera to French master Claude Chabrol ("Wedding in Blood"), a Teddy award for achievement in gay cinema to Andy Warhol muse Joe Dallesandro and an Honorary Golden Bear for French composer Maurice Jarre for his legendary film scores ("Doctor Zhivago").
Jarre started studying music at a late age, unlike many of his fellow musicians. He first enrolled in the engineering school at the Sorbonne. However, he decided to pursue his education in music instead. He left the Sorbonne, against his father's will, and enrolled at Conservatoire de Paris to study composition, harmony and chose percussion as his major instrument. He became the Théâtre National Populaire director, and recorded his first movie score in France in 1951.
In 1961 Jarre musical life experienced a major turn when the movie producer Sam Spiegel asked him to write the score of Lawrence of Arabia for which he won his first Academy Award.He followed with The Train (1964), then had another great success in Doctor Zhivago, which earned him his second Oscar.
Jarre continued making movie scores that earned him several awards and recognition. He scored by Luchino Visconti's The Damned (1969), John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (1975).
He was again nominated for an Academy award for scoring The Message (aka Mohammad, Messenger of God) in 1976 for the director and producer Moustapha Akkad. He followed with Top Secret! (1984), Julia and Julia (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989)—for which he won a British Academy Award—and Jacob's Ladder (1990).
His television work includes the score for the miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977), directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Shogun (1980), and the theme for PBS's Great Performances.
His other works include the music for Witness, his passionate love theme from Fatal Attraction, and the moody electronic soundscapes of After Dark, My Sweet. His score for David Lean's Ryan's Daughter (1970), set in Ireland, completely eschews traditional Irish music styles, owing to Lean's preferences. The song "It was a Good Time," from Ryan's Daughter went on to be recorded by musical stars such as Liza Minnelli who used it in her critically acclaimed television special Liza With a Z as well as others during the 1970s. In the 80s, Jarre turned his hand to science fiction, with scores for Enemy Mine (1985) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). The latter is written for full orchestra, augmented by a chorus, four grand pianos, a pipe organ, digeridoo, fujara, a battery of exotic percussion and three ondes Martenot (which feature in several of Jarre's other scores, including Lawrence of Arabia, Jesus of Nazareth and The Bride).
In 1990 Jarre was again nominated for an Academy Award scoring the supernatural love story / thriller Ghost. His music for the final scene of the film is based on "Unchained Melody" composed by fellow film composer Alex North.
Now retired, Jarre scored his last film in 2001, a TV movie about the Holocaust entitled Uprising.
Jarre wrote mainly for orchestras, but began to favor synthesized music in the 1980s, mostly for practical rather than aesthetic motivations, many critics feel. Jarre denies this and has pointed out that his electronic score for Witness was actually more laborious, time-consuming and expensive to produce than an orchestral score. Jarre's electronic scores from the 80s also include Fatal Attraction, The Year of Living Dangerously and No Way Out. A number of his scores from that era also feature electronic/acoustic blends, such as Gorillas in the Mist, Dead Poets Society, The Mosquito Coast and Jacob's Ladder.