Berlinale: Berlinale Profile

The Berlinale:
A Constantly Evolving Festival

The Berlinale is a unique place of artistic exploration and entertainment. It is one of the largest public film festivals in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe each year. For the film industry and the media, the eleven days in February are also one of the most important events in the annual calendar and an indispensable trading forum.

The Berlin International Film Festival enjoys an eventful history. The festival was created for the Berlin public in 1951, at the beginning of the Cold War, as a “showcase of the free world”. Shaped by the turbulent post-war period and the unique situation of a divided city, the Berlinale has developed into a place of intercultural exchange and a platform for the critical cinematic exploration of social issues. To this day it is considered the most political of all the major film festivals.

The Berlinale brings the big stars of international cinema to Berlin and discovers new talents. It accompanies filmmakers of all disciplines on their paths into the spotlight and supports careers, projects, dreams and visions.

Thanks to its numerous industry initiatives, the Berlinale is a significant driver of innovation and an important economic factor internationally as well as for companies in Germany and Berlin.

The European Film Market in the Martin-Gropius-Bau

The Programme: Diverse, Independent and Daring

Every year, around 400 films of all genres, lengths and formats are shown in the various sections and special presentations of the Berlinale. Across the spectrum from feature films to documentary forms and artistic experiments, the audience is invited to encounter highly contrasting milieus, ways of life and attitudes, to put their own judgements and prejudices to the test and to reinvigorate their experience of seeing and perceiving in the realm between classic narrative forms and extraordinary aesthetics. The programme also thrives on an intense dialogue with its audiences. A rich array of spoken-word events, audience discussions and expert panels facilitate an active participation in the festival.

Filmmakers and audience in dialogue after a Berlinale Goes Kiez screening.


  • The Competition is the festival’s centrepiece and screens the films that will be talked about.
  • With its selection of radically distinctive styles, the Berlinale Shorts competition sets the trends for the art house cinema of tomorrow.
  • Sexy, edgy, daring. Panorama screens extraordinary cinema, is a traditional audience favourite and - with its own audience award - has the festival’s biggest jury.
  • The Forum and Forum Expanded stand for reflections on the medium of film, socio-artistic discourse and a particular sense for the aesthetic.
  • Generation presents films that matter – for young cineastes and everyone else.
  • In Perspektive Deutsches Kino directing talents screen their debut films and bring a breath of fresh air to the cinema with their individual styles.
  • Berlinale Special offers space for the extraordinary, the glamorous and the festival’s special concerns.
    Berlinale Series offers an exclusive first look at the most exciting new series productions from around the world.
  • Discover film history and view it anew in screenings of the highest quality: Retrospective, Berlinale Classics and Homage.
  • The Culinary Cinema offers food for thought with films about the pleasures but also the dark sides of food.
  • Berlinale Goes Kiez brings festival films and their casts and crews to art house cinemas.
  • NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema is dedicated to the cinematic storytelling of Indigenous peoples.

The film industry at the Berlinale

  • The European Film Market is an international marketplace, a compass for the new film year and a platform for innovation and change.
  • The Berlinale Co-Production Market offers targeted matchmaking and international networking for selected projects, producers and financiers.
  • Berlinale Talents is the creative meeting place of the festival with talks and workshops for cineaste audiences and 250 selected Talents from around the world.
  • The World Cinema Fund (WCF) is committed to developing and funding cinema in regions with a weak film infrastructure, as well as to boosting cultural diversity in German and European cinemas.

See also: Gender Statistics Selection Committees

Competition & Berlinale Special

Festival Director: Dieter Kosslick

Advisory Selection Committee: Karen Arikian, Marga Boehle, Vincenzo Bugno, Thomas Hailer, Matthijs Wouter-Knol, Anne Lakeberg, Winnie Lau, Paz Lázaro, Anke Leweke, Maryanne Redpath, Rainer Rother, Ralf Schenk, Linda Söffker, Wieland Speck, Florian Weghorn

Berlinale Series

Head of Berlinale Series: Solmaz Azizi

Selection Committee: Lorna Bösel, Anna Katharina Brehm, Lin Franke, Thomas Hailer, Judith Klein, Paz Lázaro, Hella Rihl, Bartholomew Sammut


Head of Panorama: Paz Lázaro

Co-Curator: Michael Stütz

Advisory Selection Committee: Egbert Hörmann, Jenni Zylka, Jürgen Brüning, Sirkka Möller, Ana David, Verena von Stackelberg, Bartholomew Sammut


Heads of Forum: Milena Gregor, Birgit Kohler, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Selection Committee: Anna Hoffmann, Hanna Keller, Birgit Kohler, James Lattimer, Anke Leweke, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Ansgar Vogt, Dorothee Wenner

Forum Expanded

Head of Forum Expanded: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Advisory Selection Committee: Anselm Franke, Maha Maamoun, Ulrich Ziemons


Head of Generation: Maryanne Redpath

Advisory Selection Committee: Eleni Ampelakiotou, David Assmann, Ralph Etter, Ygor Gama, Simon Hofmann, Katharina Marioth, Natascha Noack, Carlos Pereira, Laura Schubert, Marguerite Seidel, Brigitte Zeitlmann

Berlinale Shorts

Curator: Maike Mia Höhne

Selection Committee: Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck, Simone Späni, Maria Morata, Saskia Walker, Wilhelm Faber, Alejo Franzetti, Egbert Hörmann

Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Head of Perspektive Deutsches Kino: Linda Söffker

Advisor: Linus de Paoli

Retrospektive & Berlinale Classics

Head of Retrospective & Berlinale Classics: Rainer Rother

Curatorial Board: Connie Betz, Karin Herbst-Meßlinger (nur Retrospektive)

Kulinarisches Kino

Curator: Thomas Struck

Advisory Selection Committee: Paula Casado, Margit Dörner


Curators: Maryanne Redpath, Anna Kalbhenn

Advisor: Christina Just


Project Manager: Vincenzo Bugno

Jury Members: Marta Andreu, Vincenzo Bugno, Alex Moussa Sawadogo, Alexander Hassan Wadouh, Dorothee Wenner

Readers: Isona Admetlla, Marjorie Bendeck, Vincenzo Bugno, Cora Frischling, Carlotta Löffelholz, Dorothee Wenner

Berlinale Co-Production Market

Heads of Berlinale Co-Production Market: Martina Bleis, Kathi Bildhauer

Selection Committees: Henning Adam, Syd Atlas, Kathi Bildhauer, Martina Bleis, Laurin Dietrich, Ellis Driessen, Linda Kirmse, Kathrin Kohlstedde, Naomi Levari, Barbara Linke, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad, Tolke Palm, Katriel Schory, Elisabeth Stangl, Konstantina Stavrianou

Berlinale Talents

Heads of Berlinale Talents: Florian Weghorn, Christine Tröstrum

Selection Committees & Juries: Agustina Arbetman, Oliver Baumgarten, Daniel Bickermann, Kathrin Brinkmann, Paulo de Carvalho, Klaus Eder, Jelena Goldbach, Frauke Greiner, Veronika Grob, Mille Haynes, Maike Mia Höhne, Alby James, Marcie Jost, Jan Krüger, Naomi Levari, Dana Linssen, Sirkka Möller, Fabienne Moris, Aily Nash, Lucy Pizana, Franz Rodenkirchen, Daniel Saltzwedel, Christiane Schulte, Christiane Steiner