Berlinale: How to Berlinale

How to Berlinale
A short guide to film submission

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.

Sections and Programmes

Glamorous, controversial, committed: the Competition is the centrepiece of the Berlinale and the festival’s calling card. It screens star-studded cinema and discovers new directors for the big arena of international filmmaking. Contact:

Glamour and popular films in the Gala Premieres, in-depth debates at the panel discussions, a spotlight on current topics, unusual formats and the honouring of extraordinary film personalities – Berlinale Special is one of the festival’s most versatile programmes. Contact: . Berlinale Series offers audiences an exclusive first look on the big screen at the most exciting new series productions and the latest developments in serial storytelling from around the world. Contact: . The Berlinale Special programmes are upon invitation only and do not receive submissions.

Sexy, edgy, daring. Panorama is part of the official Berlinale programme and has its own audience award. Press, industry and the audience share their cinematic experience in all Panorama screenings. Contact:

The Forum and Forum Expanded are independent Berlinale programmes curated and organised by the Arsenal - Institute for Film and Video Art. They are a reflection of the medium of film, social and artistic discourse and aesthetic obstinacy. The Forum’s main programme concentrates on contemporary international productions without differentiating between features and documentaries. Presenting shorts and full-length films, a group exhibition and various event formats, Forum Expanded provides a platform for filmic positions from a wider artistic environment. Forum Expanded does not accept submissions. Contact:

Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus, two competition programmes screening state-of-the-art international cinema for young audiences – and for everyone else. Epic narratives and fleeting moments, flights of fantasy and bitter realities. Coming-of-age stories: awesome, wild and angry, heartfelt and headstrong. Contact:

With its selection of radically distinctive styles, the Berlinale Shorts competition sets the trends for the art house cinema of tomorrow. The short form is the wild heartbeat alongside the feature-length film competition. Contact:

Perspektive Deutsches Kino (Perspectives on German Cinema): the name says it all. The section opens up various perspectives on the German film landscape. The journey into the future of filmmaking begins here, for directors and producers as well as for all the other film disciplines.

The Culinary Cinema offers food for thought with films about the pleasures but also the dark sides of food. It is a special programme upon invitation only.

NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema is dedicated to the cinematic storytelling of Indigenous peoples from around the world with a focus on a different region every two years. It is a special series upon invitation only.

Requirements valid for all submissions

  • Submission:
    available from early September only via
  • Deadline for submission:
    October 31, 2018 for feature-length films / November 15, 2018 for short films
  • Processing fee:
    € 175 feature-length films / € 75 short films
  • Date of completion:
    within the 12 months prior to festival
  • Premiere Status:
    World or International premieres are given priority, however, the sections have different requirements. German films need to be world premieres, except those submitted to Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
  • Accepted formats for selection:
    File upload or DCP (technical specifications)
  • Documentation for submission:
    Duly completed entry form, full contact details of production companies, synopsis, director’s filmo- / biography, cast and crew list

Please check our General Guidelines for Submission and Participation as well as specific terms and conditions for each section..
The festival does not present industry films or commercials.
Film submission for the European Film Market at

„How to Berlinale"-Download

The "How to Berlinale" short guide including a table of the submission requirements for each section can be downloaded here:

How to Berlinale, PDF  (139 KB)


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Programme Organisation
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