The Competition is the centrepiece of the Berlinale and the festival’s calling card. With around 20 titles, it provides a detailed picture of the cinema as it is and as it will be. Whether from established or up-and-coming directors, films in the Competition present the best of the year’s selection.
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 screens some of the year’s most talked-about films, frequently prompting heated debates. Embracing the diversity of cinema and its extensive production in the 21st century, the Competition aims to surprise, entertain and enrich public audiences and industry professionals alike. It reflects and relates to the world in which we are living: its selection allows viewers to understand their place in it more fully and to recognise and respect the place of others.
The Competition screens a wide-ranging representation of the best of established auteur cinema from around the globe and elevates new directors to the upper echelons of international filmmaking. Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries), Les cousins, La notte, Alphaville, Woschoshdenie (The Ascent), Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, Love Streams, The Thin Red Line, Magnolia, Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader And Simin, A Separation) – these are just some of the Golden Bear winners that have gone down in the annals of film history.
Glamorous and cutting-edge, every film of the Competition is introduced by a red carpet ceremony at the Berlinale Palast that casts a special light on the artists, delighting fans and introducing rising stars to the media and the film world. At the Award Ceremony on the penultimate evening of the festival, a high-profile International Jury bestows those world-famous seals of quality: the Golden and Silver Bears.