Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek announce the first changes for the Berlinale
- A new selection committee has been appointed as well as new heads for the festival’s various sections, while the Berlinale aims to branch out in the city to celebrate its 70th anniversary
Two months before they take office fully (on 1 June 2019), the Berlinale’s future head honchos, artistic director Carlo Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek, have announced the first major changes on the cards for the upcoming edition of the festival. A new selection committee has been appointed, while owing to recent reshuffles, new heads for Panorama and Berlinale Shorts have also been selected. At the same time, the festival is gearing up to celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2020 by branching out into other parts of the city.
Chatrian and Rissenbeek stated: “We have different tasks but the same overall goal: to successfully lead the festival into the future! We wish to maintain the Berlinale as an audience festival and as a festival for Berlin, and we are looking forward to embracing the new challenges and opportunities that cinema in the 21st century offers.”
Starting with the selection committee, Chatrian will be joined by many familiar faces from his Locarno period, as four former members of the Swiss festival will be joining him in Potsdamer Platz. The seven-member selection committee will be led by the new head of programming, Mark Peranson, who is retaining the same position he had at Locarno from 2013-2018. Alongside him, two Italian programmers, Lorenzo Esposito and Sergio Fant, and France’s Aurélie Godet, all former members of Locarno’s selection committee over the same period, are joining the new Berlinale team. Former director and curator of the Berlinale Panorama for the past two years Paz Lázaro, founder and managing director of Berlin’s Wolf Kino Verena von Stackelberg, and expert on Eastern European cinema and goEast programmer Barbara Wurm round off the new selection committee.
On his selection, Chatrian explained: “I’m responsible for the festival’s artistic profile. In looking after the programming work, supported by the selection committee, and I wish to carve out the artistic shape of the entire festival programme.”
Regarding the new heads of the competition sections, Michael Stütz, who has been the programme manager and curator of the Panorama with Lázaro for the past two years as well as the coordinator of the Teddy Award, is now the new head of the section. Furthermore, Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck, who has extensive experience in programming, including for Berlinale Shorts, will now head up the section, as Maike Mia Höhne, the long-time former head, has now been appointed as artistic director of the Hamburg International Short Film Festival. It should be noted that the rest of the heads in the remaining sections will not change for Berlinale 2020, which means that Maryanne Redpath (Generation), Linda Söffker (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) and Rainer Rother (Retrospective) all remain in their current positions. The Berlinale Special section will be revised, and any other changes will be decided in the near future. Regarding the Forum’s new head, Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art will release a statement once a decision has been made, while Stefanie Schulte Strathaus will continue managing the Forum Expanded section.
As for the industry side of the festival, Rissenbeek mentioned: “My focus is on financing and the organisational aspect as well as communication structures on one hand, and developing new strategies and their respective concepts on the other. This includes the support of the European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents and World Cinema Fund industry activities as well as cooperation with our partners in fields other than programming.”
Finally, the goal for the 70th-anniversary edition, according to the directors, is to enhance the connection that the Berlinale has with the city that hosts it, and they have offered an initial glimpse of the possible changes to come: “We would like to celebrate the festival's grand history by moving the cinema and the festival beyond its traditional locations. This idea also reflects the fact that moving images are ubiquitous in today's world and have become a tool for many art forms. We want to create a small but significant collection of places in the city – an alternative map that brings the festival into contact with Berliners and visitors who aren't yet familiar with it.”
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