De Hadeln had justified his selections with the poor quality of the submitted films and spoke of a “crisis in German cinema”. At a press conference during the festival, Alexander Kluge, speaking for all of the critics, accused de Hadeln of being overly concerned with the interests of the American majors and of neglecting German film as a result. The film festival was the one in a deep crisis, not German cinema. Positions were being staked out that would harden again and again throughout de Hadeln’s over twenty-year term of office. The initial result of the controversy was a weakened festival director, a certain degree of helplessness in finding a solution to the crisis, and hope for a greater openness to dialogue from both sides. “Sometimes we wish for our country the kind of solidarity that is a given in other countries, a solidarity between institutions working for the same goals”, Moritz de Hadeln and Ulrich Gregor wrote in a joint statement.
De Hadeln makes some smart choices regarding his staff
After the festival was over, the Film Working Committee of Berlin also demanded de Hadeln’s resignation and the producers Renée Gundelach and Regina Ziegler withdrew from the advisory board. Only gradually did pragmatism come to win the upper hand. De Hadeln acted shrewdly when he increased the authority of Heinz Badewitz, director of the Hof Film Festival and already responsible for the New German Film series at the Berlinale, and made him the contact person for the West German film scene.
Another important personnel change was the appointment of Gaby Sikorski as director of the Kinderfilmfest. As a long-time colleague of Manfred Salzgeber’s, Sikorski had already created an independent children’s film programme at the Bali cinema. With her appointment, Moritz de Hadeln was responding to demands to upgrade the Kinderfilmfest into its own independent section. Separate press screenings and an opening press conference were also added. In a remarkably international Kinderfilmfest programme, one of the audience favourites was Wolfgang Tumler’s Der rote Strumpf | The Red Stocking with Inge Meysel. “Children and old people have a lot in common”, the lead actress said after the premiere. “They speak a similar language. And they still believe in miracles – or believe in them again.”