Magazine article Screen International

High-Profile German Filmmakers Call for Berlin Film Festival Overhaul

Magazine article Screen International

High-Profile German Filmmakers Call for Berlin Film Festival Overhaul

Article excerpt

Fatih Akin, Maren Ade among 79 to sign letter.

Past Berlinale winners Fatih Akin, Maren Ade, Christian Petzold and Sebastian Schipper are among 79 German filmmakers who are signatories of a joint declaration calling for ”a new beginning” to the Berlin Film Festival.

Summed up in just five sentences, the directors said that appointing a successor to the current festival director Dieter Kosslick, whose contract expires in May 2019, “offers the chance to renew and streamline the programme”.

They proposed that “an international selection committee be appointed, made up of equal numbers of women and men, which will also reflect on the fundamental orientation of the festival”.

There has been criticism in recent years about the inflation of side-sections and so-called ‘Specials’ at the Berlinale, while the quality of the Official Competition line-up has also often come under scrutiny from critics and film professionals alike.

The filmmakers’ declaration suggested that the goal of such a selection process should be to find ”an outstanding curatorial personality who has a passion for cinema, has the best connections around the globe, and is capable of leading the festival into the future on an equal footing with Cannes and Venice.”

The signatories also included such Berlinale regulars as Dominik Graf, Doris Dörrie, Elfi Mikesch and Rosa von Praunheim, and is overall a broad cross-section of the German filmmaking community - from such veteran directors as Oscar-winner Volker Schlöndorff, Heimat’s Edgar Reitz, Jeanine Meerapfel and Jutta Brückner through to the younger generation of filmmakers including Jakob and Tom Lass, Lola Randl and Michael Krummenacher. …

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