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BERLINALE 2022

The Berlinale announces a new concept for an in-person event, opens with François Ozon’s Peter von Kant

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- Meanwhile, the European Film Market, the Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents and the World Cinema Fund will unspool digitally

The Berlinale announces a new concept for an in-person event, opens with François Ozon’s Peter von Kant
Peter von Kant by François Ozon

The 2022 edition of the Berlinale is set to go ahead, but in a new, unusual physical format owing to the pandemic times we live in. Following recent decisions by the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate, the previously developed hygiene and security measures have been reviewed once again, so that the prestigious German gathering can be organised as an “in-person, 2G-plus event with additional masking and testing requirements”. In addition, seating capacity will be reduced to 50%.

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The festival will kick off on 10 February with the ceremonial opening at the Berlinale Palast. Afterwards, until 16 February, film teams will present their titles in person to the public and accredited audiences at the premieres in the various Berlinale cinemas. The awards ceremony for the Golden and Silver Bears, as well as the GWFF Best First Feature Award and the Berlinale Documentary Award, is set to take place on the evening of 16 February. Moreover, the “Publikumstag” event will be extended to four days in 2022, with repeat screenings in all of the Berlinale cinemas from 17-20 February. In addition, parties and receptions will be prohibited, but for film teams, there will still be a chance to appear in a reduced capacity on the red carpet at the Berlinale Palast or at other premiere cinemas in the presence of the press, which will help to create a touch of the traditional festival atmosphere.

The festival schedule until 16 February also includes press conferences and photo calls for individual films. The award ceremony to present the Honorary Golden Bear to Isabelle Huppert and the presentation of the European Shooting Stars will take place on 15 and 14 February, respectively.

Talking about these new plans, State Minister for Culture and Media Claudia Roth commented: “We want to make the Berlinale possible, and judging by current deliberations, we can achieve this. We want the festival to send a signal to the entire film industry, to cinemas and moviegoers, and to culture as a whole. We need cinema; we need culture. Of course, in today's times, this can only be managed with some painful cuts and with constant vigilance. The pandemic situation is dynamic, and the Berlinale is adapting to the resulting challenges. We are helping wherever we can, and I would like to thank the Federal Minister of Finance but also many dedicated colleagues in government and parliament for their support. [...] I would especially like to thank the Berlinale management for embarking on this journey together with us, and the Berlinale staff for their perseverance and enormous commitment, without which the Berlinale 2022 would not be able to take place.”

“We are aware of the challenges posed by the unpredictable course of the pandemic. At the same time, we believe that culture plays such a fundamental role in society that we do not want to lose sight of this aspect. We would like to enable festival screenings for our audiences and filmmakers even in these times of pandemic. With our new concept, we are focusing fully on the cinematic experience and reducing the formation of groups. The key thing is to give audiences and film teams a collective experience of cinema with this changed concept, while reducing the number of face-to-face encounters in compliance with the coronavirus regulations. Our international guests are keen to present their work on site,” added the two directors of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.

Meanwhile, the European Film Market (10-17 February), the Berlinale Co-Production Market (12-16 February), Berlinale Talents (12-17 February) and the World Cinema Fund Day will take place fully online. The digital offerings of the EFM will include exhibitor presentations at virtual booths, digital market screenings, the “Berlinale Series Market”, networking events and the “EFM Industry Sessions” conference programme, for which this year’s theme is “Shaping Change”. Furthermore, the Co-Production Market will be holding its meetings, talks and networking events online, promising to create “an efficient and relaxed meeting situation, allowing even those participants who cannot or do not wish to travel to take part”.

Today, the festival also announced that it will be opened by François Ozon’s new effort, Peter von Kant. The film stars Denis Menochet, Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Schygulla in the lead roles, and will take part in the international competition. Produced by France’s Foz and sold internationally by Playtime, it will celebrate its world premiere on 10 February at the Berlinale Palast.

Peter von Kant has been described as “a free interpretation of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s masterpiece The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant”. Back in the Berlinale’s main competition for the sixth time, Ozon will turn the title character into a man and a filmmaker, portrayed by Menochet. According to the official press release, the helmer intends to “pay tribute not only to the original film, but also to Fassbinder himself, and in doing so, also delivers with his usual irony a very personal, playful self-portrait”.

“It is such a pleasure and an honour to return to Berlin, where I only have great memories, 22 years after the premiere of Water Drops on Burning Rocks, adapted from Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The Berlin International Film Festival is the ideal place to discover Peter von Kant, which celebrates my attachment as a French director to German culture. Thank you for the selection,” said Ozon.

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