The Berlinale is mourning the passing of Werner Gondolf, thefestival's chief programmer for over 30 years, at the age of 61 after a longillness.

In a tribute, festival director Dieter Kosslick said Gondolfwas "an institution at the Berlinale and nobody knew its ins and outs aswell as he did. Respected by his colleagues for his vast knowledge, his wisedecisions and his constant readiness to help, he never lost his head or hisinimitable sense of humour, even in the most chaotic of times. We will miss him."

Known affectionately as "the brain of theBerlinale" and "the grey eminence", Gondolf served under allfour Berlinale festival directors, Alfred Bauer, Wolf Donner, Moritz de Hadelnand Dieter Kosslick.