The Berlin International Film Festival (German: Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), usually called the Berlinale, is a film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany. Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the festival has been held every February since 1978 and is one of the "Big Three" alongside the Venice Film Festival in Italy and the Cannes Film Festival in France. Since 2019, Mariette Rissenbeek serves as the executive director of the festival, while Carlo Chatrian is the artistic director.
|Awards||Golden Bear, Silver Bear|
|Artistic director||Carlo Chatrian|
|No. of films||441 (945 screenings) in 2014|
With around 300,000 tickets sold and 500,000 admissions each year, it has the largest public attendance of any annual film festival. Up to 400 films are shown in several sections across cinematic genres. Around twenty films compete for the festival's top awards, called the Golden Bear and several Silver Bears.
The European Film Market (EFM), a film trade fair held simultaneously to the Berlinale, is a major industry meeting for the international film circuit. The trade fair serves distributors, film buyers, producers, financiers and co-production agents. The Berlinale Talents, a week-long series of lectures and workshops, is a gathering of young filmmakers held in partnership with the festival.
The film festival, EFM, and other satellite events are attended by around 20,000 professionals from over 130 countries every year. More than 4,200 journalists produce media coverage in over 110 countries. At some high-profile feature film premieres held during the festival, movie stars and celebrities are present and photographed on a red carpet.
During the peak of the Cold War in 1950, Oscar Martay, a film officer of the Information Service Branch of the American High Commissioner for Germany stationed in Berlin, proposed the idea of a film festival in Berlin. The proposal was put through a committee including members of the Senate of Berlin and people from the German film industry on 9 October 1950. Through his efforts and influence, the American military administration was persuaded to assist and to give loans for the first years of the Berlin International Film Festival, which commenced in June 1951 with film historian Dr. Alfred Bauer as its first director, a position he would hold until 1976. Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca opened the first festival at the Titiana-Palast in Steglitz on 6 June 1951. The first festival ran from 6–17 June with Waldbühne being another festival venue.
The winners of the first awards in 1951 were determined by a West German panel, and there were five winners of the Golden Bear, divided by categories and genres. Cinderella, which won the Golden Bear for a Music Film, also won the audience award. The FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films) banned the awarding of jury prizes at the festival so between 1952 and 1955, the winners of the Golden Bear were determined by the audience members. In 1956, FIAPF formally accredited the festival and since then the Golden Bear has been awarded by an international jury.
The 20th edition of the festival in 1970 was cut short and awards not issued following controversy over the showing of Michael Verhoeven's film o.k.. The following year, the festival was reformed and a new International Forum for New Cinema was created.
Bauer was succeeded by film journalist Wolf Donner in 1976, who gave German films higher priority. After his first Berlinale in June 1977, he successfully negotiated the shift of the festival from the June to February (22 February – 5 March 1978), a change which has remained ever since. That festival, the 28th edition, saw the jury award the Golden Bear to Spain for its contribution to the festival rather than a specific film. The three Spanish films which were screened at the festival and won it were short film Ascensor directed by Tomás Muñoz and feature films La palabras de Max by Emilio Martínez Lázaro and Las truchas by José Luis García Sánchez. The 1978 festival also saw the start of the European Film Market.
In June 2018, it was announced that Mariette Rissenbeek would serve as the new executive director alongside artistic director Carlo Chatrian. They assumed their posts after Kosslick's final edition in 2019. Rissenbeek became the first woman to lead the Berlinale.
- Competition: feature-length films yet to be released outside their country of origin, which compete for several prizes, including the top Golden Bear for the best film and a series of Silver Bears for acting, writing and production.
- Berlinale Special (a diverse selection of films, events and people) & Berlinale Series (for television series)
- Encounters (established 2020, when Culinary Cinema was dropped)
- Berlinale Shorts
- Panorama: Queer cinema
- Forum & Forum Expanded: reflections on the medium of film
- Generation: films relating to the younger generations
- Perspektive Deutsches Kino (Perspectives on German Cinema)
- Retrospective, Berlinale Classics & Homage
Main competition jury presidentsEdit
Since 1956, the jury of the Festival has been chaired by an internationally recognized personality of cinema.
|1957||Jay Carmody||Film Critic||United States|
|1958||Frank Capra||Director||United States|
|1959||Robert Aldrich||Director||United States|
|1960||Harold Lloyd||Actor||United States|
|1961||James Quinn||Film Administrator||United Kingdom|
|1962||King Vidor||Director||United States|
|1963||Wendy Toye||Dancer||United Kingdom|
|1964||Anthony Mann||Director, Actor||United States|
|1965||John Gillett||Film Critic||United Kingdom|
|1966||Pierre Braunberger||Film Producer||France|
|1967||Thorold Dickinson||Director||United Kingdom|
|1968||Luis García Berlanga||Director||Spain|
|1970||George Stevens||Director||United States|
|1972||Eleanor Perry||Screenwriter||United States|
|1973||David Robinson||Film Critic||United Kingdom|
|1975||Sylvia Syms||Actress||United Kingdom|
|1978||Patricia Highsmith||Writer||United States|
|1981||Jutta Brückner||Director, Screenwriter||Germany|
|1982||Joan Fontaine||Actress||United States|
|1987||Klaus Maria Brandauer||Actor||Austria|
|1988||Guglielmo Biraghi||Film Critic||Italy|
|1991||Volker Schlöndorff||Director, Screenwriter||Germany|
|1994||Jeremy Thomas||Film Producer||United Kingdom|
|1995||Lia van Leer||Film Programmer, Film Archivist||Israel|
|1996||Nikita Mikhalkov||Actor, Director||Russia|
|1998||Ben Kingsley||Actor||United Kingdom|
|2001||Bill Mechanic||Film Producer||United States|
|2004||Frances McDormand||Actress||United States|
|2006||Charlotte Rampling||Actress||United Kingdom|
|2007||Paul Schrader||Director, Screenwriter||United States|
|2009||Tilda Swinton||Actress||United Kingdom|
|2010||Werner Herzog||Director, Screenwriter||Germany|
|2012||Mike Leigh||Director, Screenwriter||United Kingdom|
|2013||Wong Kar-wai||Director||Hong Kong|
|2014||James Schamus||Screenwriter||United States|
|2015||Darren Aronofsky||Director, Screenwriter||United States|
|2016||Meryl Streep||Actress||United States|
|2017||Paul Verhoeven||Director, Screenwriter||Netherlands|
|2018||Tom Tykwer||Director, Screenwriter||Germany|
|2020||Jeremy Irons||Actor||United Kingdom|
|2022||M. Knight Shyamalan||Director, Screenwriter, Producer||India / United States|
In 2021, the directors of six previous Golden-Bear-winning films determined the awards for the Competition of the 71st Berlinale. There was no President of the Jury that year. The jury members were Mohammad Rasulof, Nadav Lapid, Adina Pintilie, Ildikó Enyedi, Gianfranco Rosi and Jasmila Žbanić.
The Golden Bear (German: Goldener Bär) is the highest prize awarded for the best film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Golden Bear (Goldener Bär)
- Best Motion Picture (since 1951)
- Best Short Film (since 1956)
- Lifetime Achievement (Honorary Golden Bear) (since 1982)
Silver Bear (Silberner Bär)
The Silver Bear was introduced in 1956 as an award for individual achievements in direction and acting, and for best short film.
In 1965 a special film award for the runner-up to the Golden Bear was introduced. Although its official name was the Special Jury Prize from 1965 to 1999, and has been the Jury Grand Prix since 2000, it is commonly known as the Silver Bear (just like the awards for individual achievements) as it is regarded as a second place award after the Golden Bear.
- Grand Jury Prize (since 1965)
- Silver Bear Jury Prize (since 2021)
- Best Short Film (since 1956)
- Best Director (since 1956)
- Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance (since 2021)
- Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance (since 2021)
- Best Screenplay (since 2008)
- Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution (since 2008)
Other awards at the Berlin International Film Festival
- Panorama Publikumspreis, the Audience Award
- Berlinale Camera, a special award for services to the Festival
- A Crystal Bear for the Best Film in the 14plus section of the Generation Competition
- A Crystal Bear for the Best Film in the Kplus section of the Generation Competition
- Teddy Award for films with LGBT topics
- Shooting Stars Award for young European acting talent, awarded by European Film Promotion
Former awards at the Berlin International Film Festival
- Best Actor (1956–2020) (replaced by Best Leading Performance and Best Supporting Performance)
- Best Actress (1956–2020) (replaced by Best Leading Performance and Best Supporting Performance)
- Alfred Bauer Prize (1987-2020) (replaced by Jury Prize)
- Outstanding Single Achievement (1956–2005)
- Special Artistic Achievement (1956–2007) (replaced by Outstanding Artistic Contribution)
- Film Music (2002–2007)
European Film MarketEdit
The European Film Market (EFM) is one of three largest movie markets in the world. Started in 1978, it is the business centre during the time of the Berlinale. The EFM is the major venue for film producers, buyers, financiers, sales agents, and distributors. Being the first Film Market of the year together with the Marché du Film in Cannes in May and the American Film Market in November, the EFM is one of the three major meetings of the film industry.
It is a professional trade event, therefore it is open to registered industry insiders. In 2020, 971 screenings of 732 registered movies took place with 525 films celebrating their premiere.
The EFM is the follow-up event of the Filmmesse, which was led by Aina Bellis from 1980 to 1987. In 1988, Aina Bellis was succdeeded by Beki Probst. From 2014 to October 2020, Matthijs Wouter Knol took over the position with long-standing EFM-director Beki Probst by his side. In November 2020, Dennis Ruh became the director of the EFM.
The trade fair provides exhibition space for companies presenting their current line-up. It organizes over 1000 screenings of new films, which take place at movie theatres around Potsdamer Platz. In 2007, the CinemaxX and CineStar were used to showcase new productions. In 2010, the Astor Film Lounge showed market screenings in three dimensions using digital RealD technology.
The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a three-day networking platform for producers and financiers, as well as broadcasting and funding representatives who are participating in international co-productions. At the Berlinale Co-Production Market, producers can introduce selected projects and find co-production partners and/or financiers in one-on-one meetings.
Commencing in 2003, the Berlinale has partnered with the Berlinale Talents (previously Berlinale Talent Campus), which is a winter school for "up-and-coming filmmakers" that takes place at the same time as the festival. The Talent Campus accepts about 250 applicants each year; the attendees come from around the world, and represent all of the filmmaking professions.
The event runs six days during the Berlinale and features lectures and panel discussions with well-known professionals addressing issues in filmmaking. Workshops, excursions, personal tutoring, coaching, and training of participants from different fields of work are part of the programme.
The proceedings include presentations by distinguished experts, who have included Park Chan-wook, Frances McDormand, Stephen Frears, Dennis Hopper, Jia Zhangke, Walter Murch, Shah Rukh Khan, Joshua Oppenheimer, Anthony Minghella, Charlotte Rampling, Walter Salles, Ridley Scott, Raoul Peck, Tom Tykwer, Mike Leigh, Tilda Swinton, and Wim Wenders. Many of these presentations and lectures are archived, both as video recordings and as transcripts, on the Talent Campus' website.
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