The film selection for next year's Berlin Film Festival will almost certainly be influenced by the terror attacks of September 11, according to festival chief Dieter Kosslick.
In an interview with the German film magazine Film-Echo, Kosslick declared: "when I view films at the moment, I am particularly sensitised. My reception of films with scenes of violence has changed. At present, I wouldn't have the strength to say: that is something for the Berlinale".
Kosslick, who was travelling between Mexico and the USA at the time of the atrocities, noted that the festival's brief to promote cooperation and understanding between cultures and a debate about the portrayal of violence in cinema would be all the more important next year. "We must react. The festival is a seismograph for what happens in the world. We are there to influence these amplitude oscillations in a positive sense", he said.
Following the introduction of the new section "Perspectives of German Cinema" as a platform for the local industry, Kosslick revealed in the interview that Panorama sidebar chief Wieland Speck, Perspectives head Alfred Holighaus, the International Forum's new director Christoph Terhechte, and the European Film Market's Beki Probst will all sit on the Berlinale's main selection committee.
"That shows how closely and well we work together - and you don't do that if you don't get along with each other", Kosslick explained. "I was with Speck and Terhechte in New York and we appeared there together. This spirit of cooperation also came over and was already regarded very positively in the USA".