Berlinale: FAQ - Film Entry

FAQ Festival Film Entry

Online submission for 2020 will be activated in mid-September.

Please note that all information currently given on these pages refers to the Berlinale 2019 and is supposed to offer a general insight into film entry procedures.


  • What are the deadlines?
    The deadline for submitting a feature-length film is October 31, 2018, for short films: November 15, 2018. Also, the selection screener should be sent within the respective deadline.
  • Can I submit more than one film?
    Yes, you can submit more than one film but you have to process a registration for each single film.
  • Do you accept documentaries / for which sections?
    Yes, the Berlinale accepts documentaries in the sections Panorama, Forum, Generation, Perspektive Deutsches Kino (German films only) and also Berlinale Shorts.
  • May I apply to more than one section?
    Yes, you can submit to several sections with only one application, but you have to carefully check the respective guidelines to see if your film is eligible!
  • Do you accept re-submissions?
    No, the Berlinale does not accept films that have been through the selection process for previous Berlinale editions.
  • Can I submit through "Withoutabox"?
    No, you can only submit directly via
  • Is the Berlin Independent Film Festival part of the Berlinale?
    No, the Berlin Independent Film Festival is a festival on its own and has no connection whatsoever to the Berlinale.

Selection Screener

  • I have a screener format which is not mentioned in your list of accepted selection screening formats. What can I do? Can I send it nonetheless?
    No, please do not send screener formats that are not listed as accepted selection screeners. The Berlinale accepts the data file upload via as well as DCPs.

    If you have a different format (e.g. Blu-ray, HDCAM, QT ProRes file…), please first convert it into one of the two accepted formats before submitting the film. You can find the technical specifications for selection screener formats here.

    For all further technical questions please contact the Berlinale Film Office at .
  • Can I send a link (e.g. vimeo) as selection screener?
    No. The Berlinale does not work with Vimeo links in the film selection process and solely uses her proprietary internal online streaming service for selection screenings instead. But you can take the same data file that is provided on the Vimeo platform and upload it as your selection screener onto Berlinale's internal online streaming service during the online film application or later on via My Account / My Film Entry.
  • Do you accept trailers?
    No, the Berlinale does not accept trailers for selection purposes.
  • Do you accept rough cuts / works in progress for selection?
    The submitted version should be at least picture locked. Rough cuts are accepted only in exceptional cases. In case of doubt, please get in touch with the Programme Organisation () or the section(s) you are submitting the film to.
  • When do I have to send / upload my film?
    The selection screener of your film should be received by the Festival within the aforementioned respective deadlines (October 31, 2018 / November 15, 2018).
  • Where do I send my film?
    Selection screeners not submitted online should be sent to the following address:
    Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
    Film Office
    Voxstraße 3
    10785 Berlin
    Tel. +49 30 25920-888

    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.
  • Do I get a confirmation on the submission and the arrival of my film?
    Yes, you will get a confirmation by email.
  • My film will not be 100% ready by the deadline, can I send it a little later?
    Yes, under certain circumstances, we can grant an extension to the deadline. To this end please get in touch with the Programme Organisation () in due time and make sure beforehand that you have already registered your film.
  • Can I send you an updated version of my selection screener later on?
    No, please do not send (an) updated version(s) later on – unless the festival specifically asks for it!
  • Do you need a subtitled version for the selection screenings?
    Yes, the Berlinale requests an English subtitled version for the selection screenings (except if the film’s original version is English or German).


  • What is meant by country of origin / of production?
    It does by no means refer to the country where the film was shot!

    The film’s country of origin / production is determined by the registered office address of the main production company. In case there are several (co-)producing companies, they have to be listed with their registered offices as well.
  • What do you intend by premiere status?

World Premiere The film has never been shown anywhere publicly.
International Premiere The film has only been released theatrically or presented in a national festival / national showcase at an international festival in its country of origin, but nowhere else.
European Premiere The film has already been shown or theatrically released outside of Europe, but never been presented in a European country. (A theatrical release or a presentation in a national festival / national showcase at an international festival in the country of origin is permitted.)
German Premiere The film has never been shown in Germany.
No Premiere The film has been presented/theatrically released internationally including Germany. In this case, it will not be eligible at all for the Berlinale.

  • What is the definition of national / international festival?

    A national festival is a festival presenting exclusively films from the respective country (e.g. Polish Film Festival in Gdynia). Films that are presented in a national festivals, are eligible for all the sections of the Berlinale.

    A national programme/focus within the framework of an international festival is a programme presenting exclusively films from the respective country (e.g. Made in Spain San Sebastian, Romanian Days Transsilvania Film Festival). Films that have been presented in a national programme/focus within an international film festival are eligible for all the sections of the Berlinale.

    An international festival is a festival presenting international films from around the world with an international competition (e.g. Cannes, Venice). Films participating in an international competition or international showcase at an international festival (also in the country of origin) will not be eligible for the Berlinale competition or Berlinale Shorts.

    Films that have participated in an international festival/competition or international showcase outside of Europe, may still be considered for Panorama, Forum and Generation.
  • If my film has aired on TV, may I still submit it?
    If it has been aired in its country of origin only, then it may still be eligible for Panorama, Forum, Generation. The Competition as well as Berlinale Shorts do not accept films that have been aired on TV.
  • If my film has been shown on the Internet, may I still submit it?
    If it has been available on the Internet in its country of origin only, it may still apply for Panorama, Forum and Generation. The Competition, Berlinale Shorts as well as Perspektive Deutsches Kino do not accept films that have been presented on the internet or on VOD.
  • My film has been released on DVD or Blu-ray. May I still submit it?
    No, it will not be eligible anymore.
  • What does ‘year of production’ mean?
    The year of production is the year when the film was completed (and does not refer to the period of shooting).
  • What is the maximum length for short films?
    This varies from section to section: the maximum length for short films in the Berlinale Shorts competition is 30 minutes, for Generation it is 20 minutes, for the Perspektive Deutsches Kino (German films only!) films up to 45 minutes are considered a short film (20 minutes minimum length).
  • Please note: German films have to be world premieres (except if submitted to Perspektive Deutsches Kino).

    In case of any further questions about the eligibility of your film, please contact us at .

Processing fee

  • How much is the processing fee?
    The processing fee for feature-length films is € 175, for short films € 75, no matter for how many sections you apply. Please check with your bank what the rate is for your currency and note that debit cards are not accepted.
  • Do you have early bird / late fees?
    No, for films applying for the festival programme, there are no early bird / late fees.
  • Can I get refunded if my film is not eligible?
    No, you cannot get a refund in case your film is not eligible. Therefore please carefully check the guidelines of the section(s) if the film is eligible or not - prior to submitting the film!
  • Do you accept PayPal?
    No, only payment by credit card is accepted. Please also note, that debit cards are not accepted.
  • I don’t have a credit card. What can I do?
    Please get in touch with the Programme Organisation at . They will arrange for you to pay via bank transfer.
  • I’m a student. What are the special conditions?
    It is possible to submit up to 10 short films for € 250 and/or up to 6 feature films for € 350. Queries about collective submissions can only be made by the responsible film school employee to the Berlinale’s programming organisation at or . Individual student submissions will be charged the processing fee at the aforementioned rates. A discount cannot be granted.
  • I want to submit my film to more than one section. Do I have to pay an processing fee for each section?
    No, you only have to pay the processing fee once, no matter how many sections you apply for.

After the Selection screenings

  • When will I be notified of the decision regarding my film?
    Please do understand, that selection is a very careful and sensitive process which needs time. Generally, notifications will not be sent out before the end of the year (2018).

    In case of urgency - e.g invitation(s) to (an)other festivaI(s) -, please get in touch with the Programme Organisation or the section(s) you are submitting the film to in time(!), and they will do their best to deliver an earlier decision.
  • If my film is not selected, can I get an explanation on the decision or a feedback?
    Please understand that the Berlinale cannot individually convey their deliberation. The selection is rather small, and its criteria are manifold. During the selection process, many aspects are taken into consideration: the shape of the entire programme as well as how the subjects, formal aspects and origins of the selected works fit together.

If your film gets selected

  • In case of selection, when do you need the festival version?
    The festival version should arrive at the Berlinale Film Office by no later than January 25, 2019. In January 2019, however, some sections of the Festival (except Competition) are offering advanced press screenings to selected films in their programmes so that it may well become necessary to supply the festival version of your film before this date. For clarification please check directly with the section into which your film has been invited.
  • What kind of subtitles do you request?
    In general, non-English language films have to be at least subtitled in English – BUT: every section has its own policy of subtitles, which can be found in the respective guidelines. In any case, please get in touch with the team of the section your film has been invited into.


For further questions the Programme Organisation will be at your disposal:

Programme Organisation
phone +49 30 25920-444
fax +49 30 25920-499