Technical Requirements for Festival and EFM Media
The delivery deadline for all cinema presentation material including DKDMs is January 29, 2021. This deadline applies to all festival participants and EFM clients. All material has to arrive at the Berlinale Film Office by that date.
Meeting this deadline is especially important since all media - for festival and EFM alike - must pass a comprehensive and time-consuming quality management process before their first screening.
Express Handling Fee
For European Film Market screenings only, the festival offers an Express Handling service for all materials delivered even after the deadline. An Express Handling Fee applies.
Please notify the as soon as you know that your material cannot be delivered by January 29, 2021 to arrange for Express Handling of your film at the EFM. In that case, the latest possible date for delivery is 5 days before the first screening of the film.
Accepted Formats for Festival and Efm Screenings
The approved media formats for the festival and EFM are DCP, ProRes Quicktime and the analog film formats: 70mm, 35mm, 16mm. Other media formats are not accepted.
|Image Size||HD, Full, Flat or Scope @ 2K or 4K|
|Encoding||JPEG 2000 (variable bitrate preferred)|
|Bitrate||<= 250 MBit/s|
|Frame rates||24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 48 fps|
|3D||Available in some venues. See Venues, PDF (157 KB) for details.|
|HFR||Available in most venues. See Venues, PDF (157 KB) for details.|
|EclairColor||Available in some venues. Contact for details.|
Please note: The festival can only guarantee the correct side-masking for DCPs that are using the entire area of Full, Flat, Scope or HD containers. For all other pillar- or letterboxed formats the festival will do its best to position the side-masking as accurately as possible.
*Please note: All Stereo (2.0) DCPs will be upmixed to 5.1 during playback unless you explicitly request stereo playback. The Film Office does not recommend stereo playback in larger venues due to the missing center channel.
|Format||The festival prefers subtitles to be burned into the picture but XML and PNG subtitles are also accepted.
See subtitles for more information. Please note that the image can be cropped by up to 3% during projection
Since 2012, the festival requests Distribution KDMs (DKDMs) for all encrypted DCPs. The keys have to be uploaded to the Berlinale's servers via web upload and are automatically verified upon entry. The festival cannot accept DKDMs sent by e-mail. All DKDMs must be valid from the moment the DCP arrives in Berlin until February 22, 2021.
You will automatically receive an e-mail containing personalized login information to the festival's Digital Cinema Portal. Please do not pass this information on to any third parties (postproduction companies, labs, service providers), but instead contact the to have a separate account created for your contractors.
Using DKDMs is currently the only alternative for managing the vast number of DCP screenings during the Berlinale and the EFM. Without them, the festival/EFM would not be able to execute suitable quality assurance measures and to exercise its responsibility for the smooth functioning of all screenings.
All DKDMs should be SMPTE ST 430-1 compliant and in the “Modified Transitional 1“ formulation as per ISDCF guidelines, PDF.
All DKDMs should follow the KDM Naming Convention.
All ProRes files will be converted to DCP by the festival, this process is free of charge. These DCPs will be destroyed at the end of the festival and can not be handed out to the participants / customers.
|Codec||ProRes, ProRes 444, ProRes HQ|
|Frame Dimensions||HD (1920 x 1080) or 2K (1998 x 1080)|
|Colour Sampling||4:2:2 or 4:4:4|
|Frame rates||23.98 fps, 24 fps, 25 fps, 29,97 fps|
|Gamma||Apple ProRes codecs have a native gamma of 2.2|
|Audio Format||2.0 Stereo* or 5.1 Linear PCM|
|Channel Layout||L-R or L-R-C-Sub-LS-RS|
*Please note: All Stereo (2.0) files will be upmixed to 5.1 during playback unless you explicitly request stereo playback. The Film Office does not recommend stereo playback in larger venues due to the missing center channel.
|Format||All subtitles must be "burned-in". Subtitles delivered as a separate file (.sub, .srt, .xml) will not be accepted.
Subtitles have to be positioned in the “active area” of the image and must not be positioned on a black letterbox area.
Please note that the image may be cropped by up to 3% during projection, due to the position of the projector and the venue’s architecture. We therefore recommend that you observe a safe area of at least 5%.
See subtitles for more information.
Film (70mm, 35mm, 16mm)
If you would like your film to be screened using an analog film print, please contact the Film Office as soon as possible to discuss details.
Delivery/Upload of Festival and EFM Media
The festival offers different methods to deliver films to the festival and EFM:
|Upload (DCP / ProRes)||preferred|
|Hard Drives (DCP / ProRes)||accepted|
|Film (70mm, 35mm, 16mm)||Please contact the|
If, for some reason, you cannot upload your film, you can still deliver DCP and ProRes files using hard drives. However, the full cost of transport including customs fees and insurance, as well as the return freight, must be borne by the sender.
- Hard drives have to be either USB 3.0 or CRU and have to be delivered with a 230 V power-supply, where applicable. SSDs are preferred.
- For all shipments from outside of the European Union: Please use the proforma invoice template provided by your courier service and state a modest value for customs (about 20 USD) and please state as purpose of shipment “sample” (NOT “commercial”).
- Please inform the about the airway bill number of your shipment and the estimated date of arrival.
Subtitles for Festival and EFM Screenings
The festival prefers subtitles to be “burned” into the picture.
Please see below for accepted file formats:
|Subtitles “burned” into the picture||preferred||preferred|
|XML, PNG, MXF Subtitles||accepted||not accepted|
|Other formats (.sub, .srt, etc.)||not accepted||not accepted|
All subtitles have to be positioned in the “active area” of the image and must not be positioned on a black letterbox area.
We highly recommend that you have your subtitles produced by a professional subtitling provider.
The image can be cropped by up to 3% during projection, due to the position of the projector and the venue’s architecture. The Film Office therefore recommends that you observe a safe area of at least 5%.
From experience the Film Office recommends subtitles to have:
- a font size between 38 and 40pt
- a VAlign “bottom” with a VPosition of the lowest line between 8.0 and 10.0
Please note: Bilingual subtitles are only needed for films invited to the Competition. For all other sections only English subtitles are requested (for non English dialogues).
|Spoken Language||Competition||All other sections|
|English||German subtitles||No subtitles required|
|German||English subtitles||English subtitles|
|All other Languages||Bilingual subtitles: German / English||English subtitles|
Berlinale offers assistance with bilingual subtitles through a professional subtitling company who provides a consulting service covering the editorial, aesthetic and technical aspects of creating bilingual subtitles for DCPs. The consulting services are free of charge for the production companies. The festival’s Programme Organisation provides a brochure with additional information on bilingual subtitles.
Can I get a copy of the DCP that Berlinale creates from my QuickTime file?
No. For technical as well as for legal reasons the Film Office may not give you a copy of the DCP created from your QT-file.
Should we prepare an Interop or an SMPTE DCP?
Currently all systems used by the festival and the EFM are capable of playing both Interop and SMPTE DCPs. The Film Office highly recommends that you prepare a SMPTE DCP as it has various advantages over the older Interop format, specifically they provide a wider range of frame rates and metadata, improved security and more robust subtitles.
Can I be present while you test my DCP?
No, due to security reasons the Film Office does not allow any visitors to be present during the internal QC process.
Can I schedule a test-screening or rehearsal for my DCP screening?
Due to the tight schedule of the festival and the EFM the Film Office generally does not offer test-screenings for DCPs. Your DCP has to be tested before it is submitted. The only exceptions to this rule apply to films in the Competition and to EFM customers who have booked an additional test-screening.
Why and how is Berlinale testing my DCP?
Experience has shown that quite a number of DCPs delivered to the festival have technical errors and would cause issues during presentation. As a precaution the Film Office has developed an automated testing routine that all DCPs pass through. It is, however, the participant’s responsibility to properly test the DCP in a SMPTE compliant cinema from beginning to end before sending it to the festival. The tests by the Film Office then focus on data-structure errors and interoperability issues that might arise during playback on a specific projection system.
Why does Berlinale need a DKDM (master key) for my screenings?
There are two reasons why the Film Office asks you to supply the Berlinale with a DKDM:
1) A DKDM allows the festival to generate KDMs (keys) on very short notice for the theatres that are used during the festival and EFM. In case the festival needs to reschedule a screening or swap projectors / servers it is able to generate new keys as they are needed.
2) It enables the Film Office to test your DCP in a secure environment in advance. Without a key the Film Office cannot perform a number of critical tests.
How does the festival store my DCP and KDM?
Both DCPs and KDMs are stored in a secure environment. Special access-control applies to the DCP storage room, ingest-systems and the data-center where all data is centrally stored.