Berlin International Film Festival
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. 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 on the 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.
The festival is composed of seven different film sections. Films are chosen in each category by a section director with the advice of a committee of film experts. Categories include:
Competition: comprises feature-length films yet to be released outside their country of origin. Films in the Competition section compete for several prizes, including the top Golden Bear for the best film and a series of Silver Bears for acting, writing and production.
Panorama: comprises new independent and arthouse films that deal with "controversial subjects or unconventional aesthetic styles". Films in the category are intended to provoke discussion, and have historically involved themes such as LGBT issues.
Forum: comprises experimental and documentary films from around the world with a particular emphasis on screening works by younger filmmakers. There are no format or genre restrictions, and films in the Forum do not compete for awards.
Generation: comprises a mixture of short and feature-length films aimed at children and youths. Films in the Generation section compete in two sub-categories: Generation Kplus (aimed at those aged four and above) and Generation 14plus (aimed at those aged fourteen and above). Awards in the section are determined by three separate juries—the Children's Jury, the Youth Jury and an international jury of experts—, whose decisions are made independently of one another.
Perspektive Deutsches Kino: comprises a wide variety of German films, with an emphasis on highlighting current trends in German cinema. There are few entry requirements, enabling emerging filmmakers to display their work to domestic and international audiences.
Berlinale Shorts: comprises domestic and international short films, especially those that demonstrate innovative approaches to filmmaking. Films in the category compete for the Golden Bear for the best short film, as well as a jury-nominated Silver Bear.
Retrospective: comprises classic films previously shown at the Berlinale, with films collated from the Competition, Forum, Panorama and Generation categories. Each year, the Retrospective section is dedicated to important themes or filmmakers. The special Homage series similarly examines past cinema, with a focus on honouring the life work of directors and actors.
In addition to the seven sections, the Berlinale also contains several linked "curated special series", including the Berlinale Special, Gala Special, Forum Expanded, and the Homage. In 2020, Culinary Cinema was dropped while a new section called Encounters was established. Since 2002, a 50-second trailer opens the performances in all sections of the festival with the exception of the Retrospective.
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|
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.
In 2002 a Silver Bear for best film music, and in 2008 an award for best screenplay.
- Jury Grand Prix (since 1965)
- Alfred Bauer Prize (1987 to 2020) – in memory of the Festival Founder – for a feature film that opens new perspectives on cinematic art
- Best Director (since 1956)
- Best Actor (since 1956)
- Best Actress (since 1956)
- Best Short Film (since 1956)
- Outstanding Artistic Contribution (since 1956) – not awarded every year, and in some years more than one award is made.
- Outstanding Single Achievement (since 1956) – not awarded every year, and in some years more than one award is made.
- Best Film Music (since 2002)
- Best Script (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
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. It is a professional trade event, so is open to registered industry insiders. In 2011, 400 companies registered and 6,982 market badges were issued; 1,532 buyers have registered.
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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