Berlinale: Biographies

Dieter Kosslick

Since May 2001 the creative direction and management of the Berlin International Film Festival have been the responsibility of Dieter Kosslick.

Born in Pforzheim on May 30, 1948, Dieter Kosslick studied Communication, Politics and Education in Munich. After receiving his Masters degree, he stayed on at the university in the Bavarian capital as a research assistant before moving to Hamburg in 1979 to work as speechwriter and office administrator for the First Mayor Hans Ulrich Klose and later as press spokesman for the “women's equality” unit. He left this position in 1982 to work as a journalist for the magazine “konkret”.

In 1983, he became involved in film funding, firstly as managing director of Hamburg's cultural film fund (Hamburg Film Office). In 1986 he founded the European Low Budget Forum with the cinema “Kino auf der Alster”. In 1988 he became managing director of the city's economic film fund (Hamburg Film Fund). The same year, he was a co-founder of EFDO (European Film Distribution Office) and became the president of this European organisation, a post he held until EFDO's dissolution in 1996.

In 1992 the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia and WDR managed to get Dieter Kosslick to come from Hamburg to the Rhine to head up the barely one year-old Filmstiftung NRW as its executive director. During his nine years in office North-Rhine-Westphalia became the leading German film site and established itself internationally as an important film region.

In July 2000 the Land of Berlin and the Federal Government of Germany appointed him director of Germanys prestigious Berlin International Film Festival in 2001. Dieter Kosslick took up his new position in the capital as head of the Berlinale on May 1, 2001.

Dieter Kosslick has received many honours and awards for the diverse ways in which he has promoted film and culture.

  • Bundesverdienstkreuz (Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit; 2005)
  • Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres
  • Chevalier dans l'Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur on nomination by the president of the republic (2006)
  • Golden Screen from the Central Association of German Cinemas
  • Schwarzkopf Europe Prize for the "European of the year 2006" from the Heinz Schwarzkopf Foundation
  • Eckart Witzigmann Award for the initiative to link film, culinary art and food politics (2006)
  • Helmut Käutner Prize of the city of Düsseldorf (2007)
  • Honorary professor at the Film & Television Academy (HFF) Konrad Wolf in Potsdam-Babelsberg (2008)
  • Vicente Ribas Award of the Ibiza International Film Festival (2009)
  • Trophée Lalique for his commitment to international gastronomic culture and for the Culinary Cinema awarded by the international organization "Les Grandes Tables du Monde – Traditions et Qualité" (2009)
  • The Heart of Sarajevo Award of the Sarajevo Film Festival (2010)
  • The Honourary Rhyton Medal from the Bulgarian ministry of cultural affairs (2010)
  • The Berlin Bear Cultural Award of the B.Z. newspaper (2011)
  • The Order of Merit of the state of Berlin (2011)
  • Herbert Strate Prize of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the HDF Kino e.V. (2011)
  • Eungwan Medal of the government of the Republic of Korea (2015)


Festival Management
Festival Director
Dieter Kosslick
Potsdamer Platz 11
10785 Berlin