Moritz de Hadeln's signature marks the Competition
Particularly striking this year was the diversity and quality of the films in the Competition, which had expanded again after a change in the FIAPF guidelines. Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie represented popular cinema in the best possible way. There was also politically explosive material such as Emile de Antonio’s In the King of Prussia about a group of militant American anti-nuclear power activists, Chris.Marker’s essay film Sans Soleil | Sunless, Eric Rohmer’s wonderfully light story-telling in Pauline à la Plage | Pauline at the Beach and the deeply stirring documentary Koyaanisqatsi, which would become a cult film of intellectual cinema. Moritz de Hadeln’s signature was clearly visible in the 1983 Competition: His credo was to uphold high standards by bringing art, commerce and artistic daring together. Emile de Antonio later remembered Berlin as an "ironic and productive" city, where he had spoken with fellow Americans he would normally go out of his way to avoid.
There were also films from the Soviet Union, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Some unpleasant bickering was caused by Frank Beyer’s Der Aufenthalt | The Turning Point, registered by East Germany but then withdrawn without explanation. It was revealed that Poland had intervened behind the scenes, accusing the film of stirring up anti-Polish sentiment. There was a general disapproval of the obedience of the East German officials. Warsaw’s intervention could only “be called hysterical and the submissiveness of East Germany servile”, Michael Schwarze wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, even considering Beyer’s film worthy of a Golden Bear.
Gaby Sikorski shapes the Kinderfilmfest's profile
A jury entrusted with awarding prizes and distinctions had already been put in place for the Kinderfilmfest the previous year. UNICEF’s patronage was tied to the demand for greater quality in the Kinderfilmfest pre-selection, which was to be taken from a broader range of films. There was also a proposal of showing films for teenagers.