Dieter Kosslick tells Screen that the programme is also notable for films by and about women, as well as Latin American and Indian work, plus a diverse group of 3D films.
Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick promises that “there will be the usual Kosslick mixture of big films and first time author-films” for his 10th outing, which will kick off on Feb 10 with the international premiere of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily, Kosslick said: “We will have the classic Berlinale: one will know some names and not others. I think that is our task as a film festival which is something that runs throughout the whole programme.”
Asked about the film regions which have caught his eye during the past months spent putting the Berlinale competition programme together, he observed that “Latin America continues to be strong cinematically and produces outstanding talents. There is also an interesting development in India where — especially after My Name Is Khan — the filmmakers are now addressing socio-political issues in their films.”
Although the final 2011 lineup has yet to be unveiled, Kosslick said that “it is amazing that there are many films by and about women in this year’s programme, and what I have also seen is a wave of films coming towards us about electronic digital communication and how this changes the world and humanity.”
“For the first time, we will have three 3D films in the official programme [including Wim Wenders’ music documentary Pina] and have concentrated them on one day [Sunday, Feb 13] because we can then show three completely different kinds of films which demonstrate what one can do with 3D in the artistic field as opposed to just the commercial sector.”
Although Kosslick has managed to keep the ticket prices stable for the general public during his time as Berlinale director, he admitted that the festival “will have a moderate price increase for the 3D screenings to recoup at least some of the investment in equipment for the 3D and digital projection.”
“The programming has become a bit more complicated this year because we don’t have the Zoopalast and so have had to make other arrangements for two years,” he added. The Generation programme is moving to the House of World Cultures (known affectionately by Berliners as the “Pregnant Oyster”) and the Panorama section will have a slot in the Friedrichstadtpalast. “Next year will be somewhat easier because we will have a new cinema with 900 seats in the building of the Berliner Festpiele [in Schaperstraße near the Ku’damm]. We will have to make do without the Zoopalast until 2013,” Kosslick said.
He admitted that it has been harder for the Berlinale to get studio films since the change of dates for the Oscar ceremony in 2004: “However the example of films like Shutter Island, The Kids Are All Right and My Name Is Khan show that we have succeeded in getting major films for the Berlinale. I don’t think that Paramount would have come back this year with the international premiere of True Grit as opening film if they hadn’t had a good experience with Shutter Island last year.”
“When you look back at the 2010 Berlinale, we had a good year: our Golden Bear winner Bal was a contemplative film, but had nearly as many admissions [in Germany] as Somewhere, and the release of Shutter Island was Scorsese’s best ever in Germany.”
Taking stock of his time so far at the helm of the Berlinale, Kosslick remarked: “The festival has changed considerably in the past ten years through such initiatives as World Cinema Fund and the Talent Campus. We brought the market to the Martin Gropius Bau, and introduced the Kindergarten, Culinary Cinema, Kiezkino and the Perspektive Deutsches Kino which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. You can’t complain that there wasn’t enough going on!”