Films are to be submitted in their original version for the selection process. Films in German and English do not require translation. Films in other languages must be subtitled in either German or English.
Films (both shorts and feature-length) can be submitted to the festival via file upload on the Berlinale website after the online film registration process is complete.
Other accepted formats for the selection screenings are Blu-ray and DVD (region free / all regions) as well as DCP. Any other format is permitted only upon consultation.
If you are registering a film for more than one section and the selection screener format is Blu-ray or DVD, you are kindly requested to submit one disc per section.
DCPs can also be delivered by digital file transfer via upload to the Aspera servers of the Berlinale. The service is free of charge but you will need to have a broadband internet connection (> 50Mbit upstream). Please contact the Film Office () for access details and upload instructions.
You can find the festival’s technical format specifications for selection screeners (file upload, Blu-ray, DVD, DCP) at the following link.
By submitting the online film registration form, the submitter agrees that, for organisational purposes, the festival retains their film’s selection screener(s) until the end of the festival’s current edition (effective date: February 28, 2017). The submitter also agrees that submitted Blu-rays and DVDs will be made available online in encrypted form to selected festival employees for the purpose of film selection.
If an invitation is issued, the Berlinale will use the corresponding selection screener(s) also for internal festival preparations.
Selection screeners not submitted via upload should be sent to the following address:
Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Tel. +49 30 25920-888
Fax +49 30 25920-899
The full cost of sending the material, including customs fees and insurance, must be borne by the submitter or their authorised representative. All shipments must be sent prepaid. Shipments sent through international courier services must clearly indicate on their waybill that all costs for duties and taxes are to be billed to the sender. Please note, that any charges for shipping incurred by the Festival will be invoiced back to the sender with an additional € 25 administrative charge.
All shipments from outside the European Single Market must get customs clearance before being imported to Germany. For this purpose all shipments sent by courier from outside the EU must have three copies of proper customs documentation, containing all the necessary information (i.e.: proforma/commercial invoice), attached on the outside of the package together with the courier’s waybill.
If you are shipping via international post, a customs declaration label must be affixed to the outside of the package instead.
Shipments sent without proper customs documentation can be withheld by customs and subjected to an ex post customs clearance, which may lead to additional costs that must be met by the submitter.
Blu-rays and DVDs should be marked as "Sample" and with the following declaration: "For cultural purposes only. No commercial value". Their declared value for customs should not exceed € 10.
Removable HDDs for submission of DCPs are usually shipped with an averaged customs value of € 150.
The Berlinale will bear the costs for the storage and insurance of film media for the period during which such media is within its area of responsibility. In the event a medium is damaged or gets lost during this period, the Berlinale’s liability is limited to the costs for replacement of the damaged component (in the case of DCP [digital cinema package] for instance, the cost of the data carrier/hard disk). In the case of the medium being found to be damaged upon its return shipment, a notice of damage or claim for damages, respectively, must be received by the Berlinale within 14 days of the return shipment of the medium.
All media submitted for selection screenings will not be returned unless by specific request and paid for by the applicants themselves. Requests should be sent as early as possible, and no later than two months after the end of the festival, to with explicit shipping instructions as well as information about the preferred mode of payment.
Upon explicit demand, the selection screener may also be destroyed by the Berlinale. In this case it is similarly necessary to send the respective instruction to within two months after the festival.
After this period all unfinished versions of films will be deleted and the remaining media will be archived in the reference collections of Deutsche Kinemathek - Museum für Film und Fernsehen for the sole purpose of on-site documentation and research - excluding any loan or public presentation, in order to protect the interests of the filmmakers and the producers.