With Locarno chief Carlo Chatrian’s appointment as successor to Dieter Kosslick as the artistic director of the Berlinale considered a done deal by the German media after a leak from the decision-making body to a tabloid journalist, attention is now focused at who will be the festival manager.
This person will be responsible for finances, organisation and sponsors as part of a new dual leadership for the festival from May 2019.
Monika Grütters, Germany’s state minister for culture and media, has long made it clear she wanted to appoint a woman to one of the Berlinale’s top two roles. According to German press reports, two film executives are frontrunners to be appointed to the post of festival manager.
Both appointments will be confirmed at a press conference in Berlin on Friday afternoon (June 22).
One possible candidate is Maria Köpf who announced towards the end of May she would not be extending her contract as CEO of the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein beyond 31 March, 2019.
Köpf had taken over the responsibility of running the film fund in Hamburg from the previous incumbent Eva Hubert in 2016. She had previously worked as a producer for X Filme Creative Pool and Zentropa Berlin on films such as Tom Tykwer’s Der Krieger Und Die Kaiserin and Heaven as well as Hans-Christian Schmid’s Sturm and Anders Morgenthaler’s Petit.
Köpf explained she was “drawn back to my old adopted home of Berlin [she was born in Munich] for personal reasons and because I will turn to new professional challenges”.
Meanwhile, local Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel threw another name into the ring as a possibility in today’s edition: producer and line producer Anne Leppin who has been the managing director of the German Film Academy since January 2011 (initially in tandem with Alfred Holighaus).
Her production credits include Pigs Will Fly and One Day In Europe as well as line producing September and Hilde.
The final makeup of the Berlinale’s future management will become clear at tomorrow’s press conference organised during a break in a sitting of the supervisory board of the KBB, the organisation overseeing the Berlinale, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Berliner Festspiele.
The appointments committee headed by Grütters with German Films’ managing director Mariette Rissenbeek and former Berlin Senate Chancellery chief Björn Böhning, will submit a proposal for the dual leadership to 12-person KBB board for its approval.
According to the KBB’s press invitation, Grütters will make a statement on the appointments, followed by a “short statement by the appointed Berlinale management”, a “short possibility” for questions from the press and the obligatory photo op.
If Chatrian is in person at Fridya’s press conference, questions will be asked about the selection procedue and if the candidates had been selected before the KBB supervisory board had actually convened.