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Berlinale 2020: New Directors Create Additional Competition Encounters

New competitive section / new foreign delegates and advisors / changes for special series NATIVe and Culinary Cinema


After introducing the new selection committee (see press release from March 28, 2019) the new Berlinale director duo - Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian and Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek - present the first new developments within the festival programme.

Now, alongside the traditional Competition and Berlinale Shorts awarding the Golden and Silver Bears, an additional competitive section will take place.

Encounters is a platform aiming to foster aesthetically and structurally daring works from independent, innovative filmmakers. Its goal is to support new voices in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official selection. It comprises a maximum of 15 works - world or international premieres of fiction or documentary films at least 60 minutes in length. A three-member jury will choose winners for best film, best director and a special jury award.


“The 21st century with its technological and economical shifts has changed film production in many ways, making boundaries between fiction and documentary, film essay and genre, less stable and more porous. As the Berlinale is committed to propelling the market and discovering new cinematic visions, we have decided to create a competitive section which, alongside the international Competition, will allow us to fully embrace this changing world,” comments Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian.

“I was immediately on board with Carlo’s idea for a new competitive section. Encounters is an ideal supplement for Competition and the whole of the festival’s programme spectrum,” adds Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek.


New foreign delegates and advisors


The new selection committee named by Carlo Chatrian will now take on film scouting in Europe and other countries. The following delegates will be responsible for additional regions: Jacob Wong (China, Taiwan and Hong Kong), Ryan Werner (USA), Paz Lázaro (Latin America), Eduardo Valente (Brazil), Meenakshi Shedde (India and South Asia), Maryanne Redpath (Australia and New Zealand) and Dorothee Wenner (Sub-Saharan Africa).


In addition, the director duo have appointed as advisors Norman Wang, Luciano Monteagudo, Dennis Lim and former long-time EFM director Beki Probst. They will be relaying information on the state of culture and cinema as well as facilitating relationships with filmmakers and/or the film industry.

The circle of advisors will be completed by Jason Ryle, who for the past eight years since its inception acted as an advisor to the Berlinale special series NATIVe - A Journey into Indigenous Cinema.


NATIVe will no longer be continued as a special series, however contacts established with indigenous communities and filmmakers will be maintained in order to present indigenous films within the festival’s existing sections.

The special series Culinary Cinema will also be discontinued in 2020. Films on culinary enjoyment, ecology, food production and agriculture will also be incorporated into the curatorial processes of existing festival sections.


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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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