Berlin Film Festival to go digital for 2021

Berlin Film Festival to go digital for 2021

As rumoured a couple of days ago, the Berlin International Film Festival has announced it will become a virtual event in 2021, with a subsequent physical edition to take place in the summer, health conditions permitting.

Berlinale 2021 will take place from March 1-5, alongside the virtual European Film Market. This is a move from the original dates of February 11-21, but with Germany once gain in lockdown and growing uncertainty about COVID infection rates during winter, the organisers have decided a digital version is the better option.

Earlier this year Berlinale was one of only a few film festivals that managed to hold a physical event. However, similar to Sundance which also ran as normal before the pandemic took hold, the digital version will be a shorter and more compact festival.

As reported by Variety, artistic director Carlo Chatrian said: “As an answer to the times in which we are living, we have decided to split our offer into two distinct, yet related events and in this way fulfil the mission of the Berlinale. While in March the film industry will be gathered (online) and will be able to support and give light to our selection, in summer – like a new start, 70 years after the first edition – our audiences will be able to celebrate the filmmakers and their teams, in theaters and under the open sky. This gives the opportunity to experience the different sections and profiles of the festival, to watch the films of the International Competition and to celebrate with the winners of the Golden and Silver Bears in a cheerful atmosphere.”

The full scale of Berlinale is yet to be announced, which will likely be revealed in the new year. Much will depend on the budget it secures from its partners and the Minister of State for Culture and the Media (BKM), with talks currently ongoing.

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