Ulrich Gregor, head of the Forum section of the Berlin film festival, is to resign after next year's event. His departure will co-incide with the less amicable departure of the festival's chief selector Moritz De Hadeln.

The 67-year-old Gregor, who has headed the Forum young directors' sidebar since 1971, said he wants to allow for a generational change across the two sections. That echoes a call recently uttered by Berlin's cultural senator Christoph Stoelzl: "that Berlin and the Federation want to have a new beginning and with it a generational division at the Berlinale."

Gregor, who leaves two years before the end of his contract, is understood to have nominated as his successor Christoph Terhechte, who has worked at the Forum for the last two and a half years and sits on its selection committee. But the appointment is in the hands of the festival's curatory board which will also meet this summer to appoint a successor to De Hadeln.

De Hadeln was abruptly told last month that his contract was terminated, a surprise to both him and much of the German industry. After heading the main competition section for 20 years, he is currently expected to organise next year's festival before departing in April 2001.

Gregor is the third high profile departure with connections to the Berlinale. Cultural senator Christa Thoben resigned after discovering a major hole in the city's cultural budget.

The country's first ever culture minister Michael Naumann also seems determined to eliminate cronyism and usher in some fresh blood to the country's cultural institutions.