Bones And Names

Source: Copyright Postofilm

Left to right: Knut Berger and Fabian Stumm in ‘Bones And Names’

The Berlinale has come under fire from the 160 members of the German Association of Municipal and Cultural Cinemas (Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit/BkF) for its decision to discontinue the sidebar Perspektive Deutsches Kino which had been showcasing up-and-coming local filmmaking talents at the festival since 2002. 

The BkF - whose members includes the German Film Museum in Frankfurt, Berlin’s Arsenal Kino, Cottbus’ Obenkino, Saarbrücken’s Kino Achteinhalb, Cologne’s Filmforum and Leipzig’s Cinémathéque - issued. a statement this week that said dropping this section would “not only be a fatal signal for the international film scene, but especially for up-and-coming domestic filmmakers.”

The association described the Berlinale’s reasoning that this move would, in future, make German films accessible in other sections and thus increase their international visibility as being “incomprehensible”. It argued the films by up-and-coming German filmmakers need their own “prominent positioning beyond the big mainstream blockbusters. They need their own visible section for encounters, film discussions, opportunities for exchange between filmmakers and the audience.

The BkF has had a connection with the Berlinale since 1986 with its sponsorship of the Caligari Film Prize awarded to a film screening in the Forum section.

 Over two decades, the Perspektive Deutsches Kino had presented the debuts of such filmmakers as Johannes Naber, Anne Zora Becchared, Sonja Heiss and Dietrich Brüggemann. In 2023 it featured Fabian Stumm’s Bones And Names which has been shown at this week’s New Horizons Festival in Wroclaw after screening in the Outfest in Los Angeles.