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Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek due to direct the Berlinale in 2020


- The Berlin International Film Festival will continue to compete in the Champions League of film festivals

Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek due to direct the Berlinale in 2020
Carlo Chatrian (© Locarno Festival, Michela Di Savino) and Mariette Rissenbeek (© German Films, Kurt Krieger)

Carlo Chatrian, the artistic director of Locarno Film Festival, will become the new artistic director of Berlin International Film Festival from 2020 onwards, while Mariette Rissenbeek will become its executive director after managing the German export and promotion institution, German Films, for many years. After some unofficial talking (read the story), the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes’ Board of Supervisors approved the selection committee’s proposal last Friday in Berlin GmbH (KBB).

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“With our two new directors, we will make sure that the Berlinale will continue beyond 2019 – the last year under Dieter Kosslick’s direction – to be an audience-oriented festival with a political focus and an ambitious film programme, while continuing to evolve,” says Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture and the Media. “With Carlo Chatrian, the leadership will be younger, more international and open to experimentation. He also brings the artistic and curatorial skills that many experts and filmmakers had hoped for.”

Carlo Chatrian, born in Turin in 1971, is a film journalist and has been the artistic director of Locarno Film Festival since 2013, where he has proved that he can successfully curate and lead an art house audience festival. He stands for an artistically ambitious mix of programming and a focus on discovering new talent. As the managing director of German Films, Dutch-born Mariette Rissenbeek has many years of experience working with all the important film festivals around the world and has an extensive network of national and international contacts in the film industry.

“Mariette Rissenbeek will be the first woman to direct the festival,” underlines Gütters. “She also stands for continuity and film management competence. She knows all the various film festivals and the German players and has a wealth of experience and an extensive network of contacts. With its new leadership team, even during this time of change in the film industry, the Berlinale will continue to compete in the Champions League of film festivals, as it has done for so long under the guidance of Dieter Kosslick. Thanks to his excellent work over the past 17 years, today the Berlinale has a larger audience than ever before. And with its consciously political profile, it has successfully maintained its position in the 21st century as an A-list film festival and is highly regarded internationally. The many people we spoke to around the world during our search only served to confirm that the Berlinale has an excellent reputation abroad.” 

The new directors will have several months to prepare before taking over full responsibility, in order to familiarise themselves with the festival during the 2019 Berlinale.

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