A growing network of partnerships and collaborations, an expanding European Film Market, the strong showing of Asian cinema and a thematic focus on African stories - the Berlinale 2006 came as a energetic mix of artistic vision, political concern and commercial impulse. The film industry praised the professional organization, and experienced the Berlinale as international and lively, and was pleased with the willingness of buyers to invest at the European Film Market.
While the audience provided the festival with record attendances, some observers critically discussed the festival's "star power" and glamour. Other voices could be heard that warned against confusing priorities in the battle to attract celebrities. “The true highpoints of the festival should be the films,” wrote Katja Nicodemus in “Die Zeit”. “It is only once the festival has persisted in forming its own aesthetic agenda, that it can become involved in the fuss about glamour, without making itself vulnerable to blackmail,” the critic wrote.
In Tsai Ming-Liang’s The Wayward Cloud and Alexandr Sokurov’s Solnze, she saw two films that were typical for a good Berlinale: daring and headstrong works, which provided ample material for debate, but which had little to offer in terms of “event journalism”. She wrote: “Tsai Ming -Liang’s stars are called Lee Kang-Sheng, Chen Shiang-Chyi and Yang Kuei-Mei. Of course, not a single photographer shouted out their names on the Red Carpet (…) But on the screen they remain dignified and fascinating even in the dirtiest, most squalid sex scenes. Unpretentious, daring, shameless, they go out on a limb for the very thing that such a festival should, at the end of the day, revolve around: film.”