The festival shows new and extraordinary productions under the auspices of the Berlinale Special and the Berlinale Special Gala. Their function is to honour great cinema personalities by showing their films and to immerse audiences in cinematic history by screening film classics. Films which deserve special attention due to current events can also be shown as part of the Berlinale Special.
Furthermore the programme presents films in honor of those who receive a Berlinale Camera, films by or about outstanding persons of film whom the festival feels especially attached to. The Berlinale Special films are selected by the Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.
In 2012 a series of talks was initiated following the screenings of a number of Berlinale Special films. The venue for this new format is the movie theatre in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The Berlinale Special is also keeping its traditional venue the Friedrichstadt-Palast, where the Berlinale Special Gala screenings are being held. Concert or theatre halls can also be used as venues for this programme, depending on what sort of film is being screened and how it is best presented.