The planned change of leadership at the Berlinale is internationally controversial. Minister of State for Culture Roth now wants to quickly ensure clarity at the top of the film festival.
According to Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth, the future management of the Berlin International Film Festival should be found by the end of the year. “We are well on the way with the process so that we can present a new personality this year, create a good Berlinale 2024 and make a powerful move towards ensuring that the Berlinale continues to be a festival of glamor and international significance in the future.” said the Green Party politician in Berlin.
Roth had announced that in the future the Berlinale should only be managed by one person as a successor to the previous management duo of Carlo Chatrian (51) and Mariette Rissenbeek (66). Chatrian then drew conclusions and announced that he would be leaving the festival after the 2024 edition. Rissenbeek had already announced her departure.
After Roth’s announcement, Chatrian drew conclusions
“After many discussions with representatives of the industry, there was a clear vote in the supervisory board for an artistic direction model in which responsibility for the artistic and economic areas lies in one hand,” said Roth. “We need a good structure for the Berlinale so that it lives up to its claim of being the largest audience festival and a political film festival, while at the same time representing arthouse film and making Berlin attractive for the big, well-known filmmakers.”
Roth also fears for the international importance of the film festival. “The Berlinale shouldn’t be left behind, but rather play in the same league as Cannes, Venice and Toronto. Because that’s where it belongs!”
Who regulates the succession
The question of succession should be resolved by a commission chaired by Roth. She is supported in the search by director and Oscar winner Edward Berger (“Nothing New in the West”), the managing director of the German Film Academy Anne Leppin, the actress Sara Fazilat and the producer Roman Paul.
Roth already has ideas for the management. “It would be important to have a very team-oriented personality who can also represent the international opening, the festival opens up to Asian film and thinks about the global south while also keeping an eye on German film,” she said. “This personality must be integrative, of course experienced in film, and also have managerial qualities. The profile corresponds to the current tandem in one person, but with a team of strong personalities around him.”
Criticism of Roth’s plans
Numerous filmmakers had criticized Roth in connection with the planned change in leadership. Along with Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale is one of the major film festivals – this year, for example, US actress Kristen Stewart was jury president and Hollywood star Sean Penn presented his documentary about Ukraine in Berlin.
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