Source: Daniel Seiffert/Berlinale

The Berlinale audience

The Berlin International Film Festival is to reduce the size of its programme and cut two of its sections as part of a wider reorganisation to tackle budgetary challenges.

The total number of films will be reduced to approximately 200, which is 30% fewer than the 287 films shown at the 73rd edition of the festival in February. As a result, all sections will present slightly fewer films, with the exception of the Competition strand.

A restructure of the programme will see Perspektive Deutsches Kino dissolved as a separate section. In the future, films by German newcomers will be presented in Competition, Encounters, Panorama, Generation or Forum.

Berlinale Series, focussed on high-end television content, will be discontinued as an independent programme. Instead, next year’s festival will see selected series formats feature as part of Berlinale Special Gala. Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrian will be responsible for the selection.

The moves follow a full return for the festival earlier this year, after two reduced editions due to the pandemic. After the conclusion of the 73rd edition in February, Chatrian and executive director Mariette Rissenbeek appraised the structure of the Berlinale with an aim to “sustainably configure the festival by restructuring the organisation and condensing its programme”.

“Like many other areas of society, cultural institutions and festivals are affected by considerable cost increases but unchanged budgets,” said Chatrian and Rissenbeek in a joint statement. “Keeping this in mind, we must introduce structural adjustments to create a stable budgetary foundation for the organisation and implementation of the Berlinale going forward. This process brings with it the opportunity to optimise the presentation and perception of the invited films using a more focused programme.”

Potsdamer Platz and Berlinale Palast, where the Competition films are screened, will continue to serve as the central point for the festival’s city-wide network.

The Berlinale Series Market for industry will remain unchanged and continue to take place parallel to the public film programme. In addition to the regular market infrastructure, its programme components are the conference programme, the Berlinale Series Market Selects presentation, which shows a selection of international series with promising sales potential as market premieres, and international showcases.

The pitch and networking event Co-Pro Series will also continue to bring together selected series projects with potential co-production partners.

Rissenbeek previously announced that she will step down after the 74th Berlinale, which is due to run February 15-25, 2024.