New Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick has warned the Cannes film festival that he will not stand idly by and see films enticed away from his programme.
His stand comes hard on the heels of a line-up announcement by Cannes, which includes films by such directors as Michael Haneke, Abel Ferrara, Dannis Tanovic and Shoei Imamura which reportedly had firm invitations from the Venice Film Festival.
Speaking to the German daily newspaper Die Welt, Kosslick said: "If Cannes grabs everything for itself, then one just has to get up early and dress warmly. If they nick a film from me, then I'll nick two from them.
"In the end it is a decision by the filmmakers and producers where they go", Kosslick said. "Naturally I would become just as agitated as my colleague [Alberto] Barbera in Venice at Cannes' actions."
Preparing his first Berlinale next year, Kosslick said that relations between the Official Competition and the Forum sections should be
restructured by the end of June. "We have to get all of the parts working like a festival", he said. "There will be a lot of changes from the film selection through the programming to the presentation".
Changes already on the cards include the replacement of the current ten-person selection team for Official Competition with new selection committees. The new structure is likely to include delegates from the Competition, Forum and Panorama sections and some new selectors.
Kosslick said he is examining proposals that would make the Berlinale a year round festival. "There are already offers of co-operation from BerlinBeta, Transmediale and the Short Film Festival.
He also said that the festival's budget, currently some $6.9m (DM15m) "must be stablised and increased".