The Berlin festival will be held online this year, due to Covid-19. This does not prevent the organizers from innovating thanks, among other things, to an exceptional jury.
The jury for the Berlinale Film Festival, whose competition is to be held in March entirely online, will be made up this year of six previous Golden Bear winners, organizers announced on Monday. The members of this jury, which will exceptionally have no president, will be invited to the German capital to view the films selected in the main competition, the list of which will be made official on February 11, and to designate the winners of each section.
Among them, Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof, awarded the highest distinction in 2020 for The devil does not exist, the Israeli Nadav Lapid (Synonyms, 2019), Romanian Adina Pintilie (Touch Me Not, 2018), the Hungarian Ildikó Enyedi (On Body and Soul, 2017), Italian Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea, 2016) and Bosnian Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica, 2006). These six directors “Not only express different ways of making films without compromise and creating daring stories, but they also represent a part of the history of the Berlinale”, said in a statement the artistic director of the festival, Carlo Chatrian.
Not sure Rasoulof can make the trip
The 71st edition of the Berlinale will be held in two stages, with an online competition and the awarding of prizes from March 1 to 5, including the Golden Bear, as well as screenings open to the public from June 9 to 20, in theory in rooms and in the open air. Without the parade of stars on the red carpet this year, the festival will take advantage of this second session to physically hand out the prizes to the various winners.
It is, however, not certain that the director Mohammad Rasoulof will actually be able to come to Berlin, while he was unable to come for his award last year, after being sentenced, in 2019, to a year in prison for propaganda against the Iranian regime.
Created in 1951, the Berlinale, one of the three main film festivals in Europe along with Cannes and Venice, is not the only event to try to adapt to the constraints of the pandemic. The Sundance American Independent Film Festival, currently held until February 3, is hosting its screenings in drive-ins or online.