Feb 28, 2023
Glamorous Closing of Berlinale 2023 – Delighted Winners and Full Cinemas
The 73rd Berlin International Film Festival came to a successful close with the Publikumstag on February 26. At the festive awards ceremony (Berlinale Awards 2023 (162 KB)) on Saturday evening, Sur L'Adamant by Nicolas Philibert was awarded with the Golden Bear.
Following the slogan “Let's get together” (see press release of Oct 13, 2022), the Berlinale started its first fully in-person event after two unusual years due to the pandemic – and the audience as well as the industry certainly complied:
The interest was overwhelming with around 20,000 accredited professionals from 132 countries, including 2,800 media representatives coming to Berlin. In total, 320,000 tickets were sold to the public, close to the Berlinale’s pre-pandemic audience figures.
“Full cinemas, moving moments, many prominent guests and a curious audience characterised the Berlinale 2023. We see this as living cinema culture in all its diversity. The focus was on enjoyment and shared experiences. We hope that this enthusiasm for cinema will continue after the festival,” comment the Berlinale Director-duo Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.
Festival of Solidarity
In view of the ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine and the courageous struggles for liberation in Iran, the Berlinale expressed its solidarity and remembered the worldwide victims of war and oppression.
At the festive opening on February 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional appeal to film and cultural professionals in a live video broadcast.
An additional focus was on the victims and survivors of the earthquake in Syria and Turkey as well as the situation in Iran. The Berlinale expressed its support through the film selection and events, as well as with offers for filmmakers at the EFM. Other significant actions were the expressions of solidarity on the Red Carpet on February 18 for the protest movement in Iran and on February 24 for Ukraine (see press release of Feb 10, 2023).
Audience Enthusiasm for Diverse Programme / Offers for the Film Industry
The various sections of the festival – Competition, Encounters, Berlinale Special & Berlinale Series, Berlinale Shorts, Panorama, Forum & Forum Expanded, Generation, Perspektive Deutsches Kino, Retrospective and Homage – offered viewers a diverse film programme and numerous audience discussions with the film teams. The films encountered audiences who showed enthusiasm for the works’ political relevance, their specific aesthetics and their emotional power, and the many prominent guests. One highlight was the awarding of the Honorary Golden Bear to Steven Spielberg, to whom the Homage was dedicated. A novelty in 2023 was the Berlinale Series Award, which was presented for the first time this year.
The numerous sales and the record number of trade visitors at the European Film Market (EFM) testify to a particularly successful edition (see press release of Feb 23, 2023). The Berlinale Co-Production Market, which organised 1,500 meetings matched this success. With the Silver Bear for Best Acting Performance in a Leading Role for Sofía Otero in 20,000 Species of Bees, a former project of the Berlinale Co-Production Market was also honoured by the Competition jury this year.
At Berlinale Talents, this year’s motto “You Must be Joking - Humour in Serious Times” proved a perfect door opener for the creation of stable alliances in the crisis-ridden present. The six-day summit with 66 talks, workshops, script labs, a new three-day think tank, and public events with Kristen Stewart, Ruben Östlund, Euzhan Palcy and Cate Blanchett, among others, offered visitors and the 203 talents from 68 countries an important discursive platform within the festival. Indeed, Berlinale Talents impressively demonstrated its position as one of the most important film communities with almost 10,000 alumni worldwide.
The World Cinema Fund dedicated its WCF Day 2023 to the issue of supporting cinema and culture in times of growing crises and wars, and in particular to the challenges faced by Iranian filmmakers inside and outside their own country. The participation of two WCF-supported films in the programme was also successful: Adentro mío estoy bailando by Leandro Koch and Paloma Schachmann won the GWFF prize for Best First Feature, which is awarded across sections. Sira by Apolline Traoré was presented with the Panorama Audience Award for feature film.
The 74th Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 15 to 25, 2024.
February 28, 2023