Source: Courtesy of the Berlinale

Berlin International Film Festival

The Berlin International Film Festival is in talks with the city’s authorities to transform its planned public June special into an all-outdoor special following last week’s news German cinemas will not open before June 30.

The Summer Special was scheduled to run June 9-20, featuring physical screenings of films selected for its online-only, industry edition, which took place last month.

But restrictions set out by the recently updated Infection Protection Act now make the planning of the Berlinale Summer Special “a bigger challenge”, according to a statement from the festival, and a final decision regarding the event will be made at the beginning of May.

“The festival directors are currently in contact with the authorities to determine the next steps for an all-outdoor event,” the statement added.

“The Berlinale also wants to explore the possibility of a pilot cultural event with mandatory testing… Everyone’s health and curbing the development of the pandemic is, of course, the top priority when making any considerations.”

Organisers added that postponing the Summer Special beyond June, or as an online audience festival, has never been an option.

“From the start, what we’ve really wanted to do is present the Berlinale films to audiences at a shared cinema experience,” said the Berlinale’s director duo, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.

The open-air option does not allow for presentations of 35mm prints, which is why the festival chose to completely postpone the Retrospective – largely based on classic films – of this year’s Berlinale to the festival in 2022 in order to “preserve its curatorial requirements”.

In addition, the Forum Expanded exhibition that was planned to open on May 18 at Savvy Contemporary has been cancelled. The artist group The Living and the Dead Ensemble will instead show from May 18 in the windows of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin. The selected works will be presented next year.