The Forum and Forum Expanded stand for reflections on the medium of film, socio-artistic discourse and a particular sense for the aesthetic.
The programmes of the Forum and Forum Expanded aim to expand the understanding of what film is, to test the boundaries of convention and open up fresh perspectives to help grasp cinema and how it relates to the world in new ways. The programmes can include anything that serves these ends: contemporary and historical, analogue and digital film, installation art, performance and music.
The Forum and Forum Expanded are programmes independently curated and organised by Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art as part of the Berlinale.
What fits into the programme is defined by the filmmakers’ stance towards their medium rather than the question of what commercial potential a film may have. The cinematic form is never subordinate to the content. Both selection committees see their selections as a laboratory and a workshop.
The annual selection of around 40 films for the Forum focuses on contemporary international cinema productions and eschews conventional distinctions, such as that between fiction film and documentary. With around 30 short and feature-length films, a group exhibition, stage and panel events, Forum Expanded provides an open platform for film formats from a broader range of disciplines, including visual art, theatre, performance, music and the media. In combination with the impetus given by politics and society, these works create a discursive framework of a deliberately international character which has the potential to grasp cinema anew and change it in lasting ways.