BerlinBeta's film festival - from August 29 - to September 5 - is to become the first event of its kind in Europe to offer a Digital Fiction Award, in conjunction with Das Werk, for the best digitally produced feature. The event will also feature a sidebar with the latest examples of digital production, ranging from Nicolette Krebitz's Jeans and Hans Weingartner's Das Weisse Rauschen to Mike Figgis' Timecode and Wayne Wang's The Center Of The World, as well as other films selected in collaboration with RES Magazine (US) and Love Cinema (Japan).

The fourth edition of BerlinBeta's festival is again featuring its Independent Images section with screenings of such films as Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For A Dream, Asia Argento's Scarlett Diva, the Pang Brothers' Bangkok Dangerous and Leopold Lummerstorfer' Gelbe Kirschen, while XYouth 2001 will include Mauvaises Frequentations by Jean Pierre Ameris, Rush by Sang in Lee, and White Boys by Marc Levin.

The Music Department sidebar has selected Scratch by Doug Pray as well as a John Akomfrah focus, among other films. Special showcases will cast a spotlight on filmmaking from South Korea and New York as well as a tribute to the underground filmmaker Jose Mojica Marins.

Among the innovations this year are the creation of the BerlinBeta Audience Award, which is being co-sponsored by Berlin listings magazine Zitty, and a partnership with the First Steps Award offered to graduation films of students at German film schools. The nominated films and their prize-winners will be presented and screened for the first time within a special section of the film festival.