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Organizers of Berlinale 2022 to adopt 'new concept' for hybrid event

They will attempt to reduce the number of face-to-face encounters in compliance with coronavirus regulations.

Our Correspondent

The organizers of the Berlinale has developed a new concept for conducting its festival this year in the wake of the pandemic. The organizers had previously announced the festival would be shortened by three days and screenings would be held with 50% capacity in cinemas while parties and receptions would be cancelled. The focus of the festival will now be on cinema screenings at Berlinale venues in strict compliance with the current regulations and keeping in mind the health and safety of the audience at all events.

Berlinale 2022 is one of the few festivals that will have in-person screenings. The physical editions of the Sundance and Palm Springs festivals have been cancelled in light of the pandemic.

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The festival will begin on 10 February at the Berlinale Palast and thereafter, till 16 February, film teams will present their films personally to public and accredited audiences at the premieres in various Berlinale cinemas.

The organizers also announced that the award ceremony for the Golden and Silver Bears, as well as the GWFF Best First Feature Award and the Berlinale Documentary Award, would take place on 16 February. The popular Publikumstag event will be extended to four days from 17-20 February and there will be repeat screenings in all the Berlinale cinemas.

In keeping with recent decisions by the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate, the previously developed hygiene and security measures have been reviewed to ensure that the 2022 festival can be organized as an in-person 2G-plus event.

Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, the two directors of the Berlinale, said, “We are aware of the challenges posed by the unpredictable course of the pandemic. At the same time, we believe that culture plays such a fundamental role in society that we do not want to lose sight of this aspect. We would like to enable festival screenings for our audiences and filmmakers even in these times of pandemic. With our new concept, we are focusing fully on the cinematic experience and reducing the formation of groups. The key thing is to give audiences and film teams a collective experience of cinema with this changed concept while reducing the number of face-to-face encounters in compliance with the corona regulations. Our international guests are keen to present their work on site.”

François Ozon’s drama Peter Von Kant, starring Denis Menochet, Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Schygulla has been announced as the opening film.

The French-language film will be screened as part of the International Competition and have its world premiere on 10 February 2022 at the Berlinale Palast. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s period film Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022), starring Alia Bhatt, is to be premiered at Berlinale in the festival’s special gala section.

Meanwhile, the European Film Market (EFM, 10 -17 February) will be completely digital, along with the Berlinale Co-Production Market (12-16 February), Berlinale Talents (12-17 February) and World Cinema Fund Day.

“The decision to realize the EFM 2022 as a purely digital event was an extremely difficult one to make. The great need for the sales industry to meet physically had been reflected in the considerable number of bookings for exhibition spaces, accreditation and physical market screenings,” says EFM director Dennis Ruh. “However, the high frequency of face-to-face encounters in regular market trading is not feasible at the moment. So, we are relying on our digital offers, which already proved their worth for the trade-fair business ‘on remote’ last year.”

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