Berlinale: Regulations Competition

Competition Regulations

Online submission for 2017 will be activated in early September.

Please note that all information currently given on these pages refers to the Berlinale 2016 and is supposed to offer a general insight into film entry procedures.

1 - Aims

In the heart of Germany’s capital city Berlin, the Berlin International Film Festival – also known as the "Berlinale" – serves as a showcase for film art and the film industry. Its aim is to promote better co-operation and understanding between cultures by presenting films that are innovative and of high quality.

2 - Eligibility

World premieres are given priority.
German films have to be world premieres.

Accepted formats: DCP, 35mm, 70mm, 3D (depending on the theatre)
Date of completion: Within the 12 months prior to the Festival

Eligible are feature films of at least 70 minutes running time which

  • are intended for theatrical release.
  • have not participated at any international film festival. A presentation at national showcases in the country of origin will be tolerated.
  • have not been released commercially other than in their country of origin.
  • have neither been presented in television nor in the internet / VOD.

In case of international coproductions the main country of production will be considered as country of origin.

Films which have previously been submitted and viewed for Berlinale selection cannot apply a second time.

The Festival Director has the right to settle any cases not covered by the regulations.

All films have to be registered online at online film entry. The entry fee is € 150 and payment can be effected by credit card only (Visa, American Express, MasterCard) during the online submission process.

3 - Selection process and programming

The Festival Director invites films to participate in the International Competition. The Director is advised by German and international professionals. Any film submitted for the Competition may be considered for the Panorama unless specifically instructed otherwise by the applicant.

The duly completed online entry form as well as the screening material for selection must reach the Festival by the deadline (October 30, 2015).

Formats accepted for selection are DVD (region free / all regions), Blu-ray (region free / all regions) as well as DCP. For other formats please contact the programme organisation.
Detailed information on technical specifications can be found here (62 KB).

If you apply for several sections and your submission format is DVD / Blu-ray, you are kindly requested to send one screener per section. All screening material for selection should be sent to the following address:

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Film Office

Voxstraße 3
10785 Berlin
phone +49 30 25920-888
fax +49 30 25920-899

Films should be submitted for selection in their original language with English subtitles.

4 - Languages and subtitles

All films invited to participate in the Competition are screened in their original language with German and English subtitles.
The film’s producer is responsible for meeting the costs of subtitling and providing the subtitled version on time.
The version released in the country of origin is regarded as the original version. In the case of films in several languages, the language of the subtitles may only deviate from this directive with the Festival’s approval.

5 - The International Jury

Members of the International Jury and their president are appointed by the Festival Director to award the Golden Bear and Silver Bears. The International Jury comprises at least seven German and foreign personalities. No person who has participated in the production or commercial exploitation of a film in Competition may serve on the Jury.

The Festival Director (or an authorised representative) attends the Jury’s deliberations but does not participate in voting.

The Jury’s decisions are based on an outright majority, or, failing that, by a relative majority reached in a third ballot. Jury members are sworn to secrecy. Jury deliberations and ballots are strictly confidential even after the Festival has ended.

6 - Awards for feature-length films in the International Competition

The Jury is obliged to award the following prizes to films participating in the Competition

  • Golden Bear for Best Film (awarded to the film’s producer)
  • Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
  • Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature film that opens new perspectives
  • Silver Bear for Best Director
  • Silver Bear for Best Actress
  • Silver Bear for Best Actor
  • Silver Bear for Best Script
  • Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories camera, editing, music score, costume or set design

Only one Bear may be awarded ex aequo. The Jury may not award more than one prize to the same film, except in the case of the acting awards.

The Festival expects the prize-winners to attend the awards ceremony in person. Each film selected receives a certificate of participation.

For any further questions the General Regulations of the Berlin International Film Festival apply.

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Programme Organisation
Potsdamer Straße 5
10785 Berlin
phone +49 30 25920-444
fax +49 30 25920-499


Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Programme Organisation
Potsdamer Straße 5
10785 Berlin
phone +49 30 25920-444
fax +49 30 25920-499