Berlinale: Panorama


Artistic vision versus commercial interests? The Panorama defines its mission as building bridges. Here, the target audience explicitly includes film buyers.

In the Panorama programme one finds new films by renowned directors, debut films and new discoveries. The selection of films provides insight on new directions in art house cinema. Traditionally, auteur films – movies with an individual signature – form the heart of the programme.

All films in Panorama celebrate their world or European premiere. At press conferences and audience discussions after the screenings, journalists and moviegoers get a chance to exchange views and discuss the films with directors, producers, actresses and actors.

The Panorama presents its films in three series with different profiles:

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

1 - Elgibility

Eligible films for Panorama are feature films and documentaries of at least 70 minutes running time which

  • have not been released in Europe other than in their country of origin.
  • have not been screened at any other German or European film festival. A presentation at national showcases in the country of origin will be accepted.
  • have neither been broadcast nor presented on the internet / VOD other than in their country of origin.
  • are available in the formats DCP, QuickTime ProRes 422 or 35mm (depending on the theatre). Other formats only upon request.
  • Television productions are only eligible if they are intended for a theatrical release.

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

  • World premieres are preferred.
  • German films must be world premieres (with the exception of submissions to Perspektive Deutsches Kino).

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

2 – Selection and programming

The curators of the Panorama are responsible to the Festival Director for the selection of films. Films offered to the Competition may be considered for the Panorama unless specifically stated otherwise.

3 – Version and subtitles

All films invited to the Festival are screened in their original version with English subtitles. German language films should have English subtitles. The costs of subtitling are at the responsibility of the producer.

The version released or planned for release in the country of origin is regarded as the original version.

In Panorama, the following awards are presented by independent juries:

  • GWFF Best First Feature Award (endowed with 50,000 Euros)
  • Glashütte Original Documentary Award (endowed with 50.000 Euro)
  • Panorama Audience Award, in which more than 20,000 Berlinale visitors take part every year
  • Teddy Award, the most important queer film award in the world, which began in Panorama and can now go to films in all sections of the Berlinale
  • Heiner Carow Prize, sponsored by the DEFA Foundation
  • Prize of the Churches of the Ecumenical Jury
  • Prize of the FIPRESCI Jury
  • CICAE Art Cinema Award
  • Amnesty International Film Prize
  • Peace Film Prize
  • Label Europa Cinemas

Please find more information about awards at the Berlinale under Awards and Juries.

Manfred Salzgeber, Rose-Marie Couture, Wieland Speck
Manfred Salzgeber and Wieland Speck

The Panorama grew out of the “Info-Schau”, a programme that complimented the Berlinale Competition in the 1970s. In 1980, Manfred Salzgeber – one of the most important innovators in the Berlin art house cinema scene in the 1970s and co-initiator of the International Forum for New Cinema – was given the job of shaping the content. In 1982 Salzgeber added Wieland Speck to his team and developed a programme that addressed societal struggles and new aesthetic approaches and that never shied away from uncomfortable films. In 1986 the section was renamed Panorama.

Wieland Speck became section head in 1992. During the next 25 years he consistently developed the work undertaken by his predecessor, successfully leading the ambitious independent film out of its niche and into the spotlight of the international film market. He brought the Teddy Award, which he founded with Manfred Salzgeber in 1987, to international recognition as the world’s first - and still most important - film prize for queer cinema.

Since July 2017 the Panorama section has been headed by Paz Lázaro who curates the Panorama programme together with Michael Stütz and Andreas Struck.

Sean Penn in Milk (Panorama 2009) by Gus Van Sant

Panorama has been dedicated to gay, lesbian and transgender film since the 1980s with films like Rob Epstein and Richard Schmiechen’s The Times of Harvey Milk, Greta Schiller’s Before Stonewall, Gus Van Sant’s Mala Noche and Pedro Almodóvar’s La ley del deseo.

From the very beginning, Panorama has given short film a great deal of attention and presented roughly 25 shorts in its programme every year. Short films are often aesthetically challenging and are a way to discover fresh talents early on in their career. At the Berlinale 2007, the passionate Panorama short film work was moved to the new Berlinale Shorts section, which was created in cooperation with the Berlinale Competition.


Panorama Office

phone +49 30 25920-400
fax +49 30 25920-409