Glamorous, controversial, committed: the Competition is the centrepiece of the Berlinale and the festival’s calling card. It screens star-studded cinema and discovers new directors for the big arena of international filmmaking.
As the festival's centre of gravity, the Competition concentrates the energy of the Berlinale and catches the world’s attention. It is the focal point of the festival and frequently prompts heated debates about individual works or, indeed, the entire programme. Out of thousands of entries, the selected films embody present and future directions of cinema. The Competition celebrates star-studded cinema steeped in tradition while simultaneously presenting audiences with the opportunity to engage with something new, surprising and disconcerting. Big international productions rub shoulders with works by directors on the brink of becoming the next big thing. The Competition offers a broad general public a glimpse of the immense riches of filmmaking from across the globe. The power to captivate a large audience is inherent in every film in the Competition, and many have gone down in the annals of film history. Those keen to celebrate the Berlinale as an event and become caught up in the excitement of the Red Carpet are also well-served – from the glamorous atmosphere of the Opening Gala to the festival’s highlight, the Award Ceremony on the penultimate evening, where a high-profile International Jury comprising star power and expertise bestow those world-famous seals of quality: the Golden and Silver Bears.
The Competition is curated by Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, supported by an advisory committee.