Berlinale: Encounters


Encounters is a platform aiming to foster aesthetically and structurally daring works from independent, innovative filmmakers. Its goal is to support new perspectives in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official selection.

Conceived as a counterpoint and a complement to Competition, Encounters is a competitive section devoted to new cinematic visions. The films selected will challenge traditional forms and ask viewers to reconsider their positions in relation to them. Being a mirror of the different ways of production that have developed in the 21st century and reflecting this vibrant energy, Encounters will become a meeting point for filmmakers and producers, programmers and film critics, cinephiles and festival lovers.

Not distinguishing between genres, Encounters comprises around 15 works - world or international premieres of fiction or documentary films of at least 60 minutes in length. A three-member jury will choose winners for best film, best director and a special jury award

For all applications the General Guidelines for Film Submission and Participation apply.

1 - Eligibility

Accepted formats: DCP or QuickTime ProRes. 35mm or other formats only upon request.

Eligible are feature films and documentaries of at least 60 minutes running time which

  • are intended for theatrical release.
  • have not participated at any international film festival. A presentation in the country of origin will be tolerated.
  • have not been released commercially other than in their country of origin.
  • have neither been presented on television nor on the internet / VOD.

In case of international co-productions the main country of production will be considered as country of origin.

  • World premieres are preferred.
  • German films have to be world premieres to be eligible for Encounters

The Artistic Director reserves the right to rule on any case not provided for in these guidelines.

2 - Selection process and programming

The Artistic Director invites films to participate in Encounters. He is advised by German and international professionals. Any film submitted for Encounters may be considered for the Competition and the Panorama unless specifically instructed otherwise by the applicant.

3 - Languages and subtitles

All films invited to participate in Encounters are screened in their original language with English subtitles.

The film’s producer is responsible for meeting the costs of subtitling and providing the subtitled version on time.

The version released in the country of origin is regarded as the original version. In the case of films in several languages, the language of the subtitles may only deviate from this directive with the Festival’s approval.


Programme Organisation

Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
phone +49 30 25920-444
fax +49 30 25920-499