May 24, 2024

The Berlin Film Festival will be launching a new section, called Newcomer German Films, during its next edition taking place from Feb. 15-25.

The section will highlight emerging German filmmakers, and will be part of the main program alongside the Competition, Encounters, Panorama, Generation and Forum sections. Jenni Zylka, the former director of Perspektive Deutsches Kino, has been tapped to scout for first or second films and liaise with film schools. A new award, called the Heiner Carow Prize for the promotion of German cinematic art, will be awarded to a first or second German film playing across all the sections of the Berlinale. The prize, endowed with €5,000, is sponsored by the DEFA Foundation.

“The aim of Berlinale 2024 is to once again spark enthusiasm for cinema, creating enjoyment and a festive mood. A film festival is more than the sum of its programmes,” said Berlinale directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, who will be stepping down after this next edition when their contracts expire.

The pair said their aim was for the Berlinale to “combine political relevance, aesthetic experiences and grand emotions.”

The Berlin Film Festival is governed by a German body called Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin (KBB) which is chaired by Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and Media.

News of Chatrian’s exit after the 2024 edition stirred uproar within the international film community. The well-respected artistic director was expected to have his contract extended by the German state body. In the wake of the announcement, hundreds of filmmakers and talent, including Martin Scorsese, Radu Jude, Kristen Stewart, Hamaguchi Ryusuke signed an open letter in support of Chatrian.

The Germany body had previously said it would abandon the model of having an executive director and an artistic director and return instead to having a single director beyond 2024.

More to come...

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