Berlin International Film Festival announced that the 2022 festival will now take place as an in-person 2G-plus event (additional masking and testing requirement) citing recent decisions by the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate.
The Berlinale has changed its format and concept due to the pandemic: The festival will start on February 10 with the ceremonial opening at the Berlinale Palast. Afterwards, until February 16, film teams will present their films personally to the public and accredited audiences at the premieres in the various Berlinale cinemas. The award ceremony for the Golden and Silver Bears, as well as the GWFF Best First Feature Award and the Berlinale Documentary Award will take place on the evening of February 16. The “Publikumstag” event, which has been very popular for some years now, will be extended to four days in 2022: from February 17-20, there will be repeat screenings in all the Berlinale cinemas (at the regular standard price of 10 Euros).
In addition to shortening the part of the festival consisting of presentations, the new concept also envisages a fundamental reduction in seating capacity in the Berlinale cinemas to 50 percent. Due to the pandemic, it will not be possible to hold parties and receptions, but for film teams there will still be a chance to appear in a reduced format on the Red Carpet at the Berlinale Palast or at other premiere cinemas in the presence of the press, which will help to create a touch of the traditional festival atmosphere.
The new State Minister for Culture and Media, Claudia Roth, commented: “We want to make the Berlinale possible, and according to current deliberations, we can achieve this. We want the festival to send a signal to the entire film industry, to cinemas and moviegoers, and to culture as a whole. We need cinema, we need culture. Of course, in today’s times, this can only be managed with some painful cuts and with constant vigilance. The pandemic situation is dynamic, and the Berlinale is adapting to the resulting challenges. We are helping wherever we can, and I would like to thank the Federal Minister of Finance but also many dedicated colleagues in government and parliament for their support. I would also like to thank the State of Berlin and especially the health authorities and the Senator for Health for supporting the Berlinale along this route with such dedication. I would especially like to thank the Berlinale management for embarking on this journey together with us, and the Berlinale staff for their perseverance and enormous commitment, without which the Berlinale 2022 could not take place.”
“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,” according to the two directors of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.
The festival schedule until February 16 also includes press conferences and photo calls for individual films. The award ceremony of the Honorary Golden Bear to Isabelle Huppert (Feb. 15) and the presentation of the European Shooting Stars (Feb. 14) will also take place within this shortened in-person time frame.
While the festival aims to organize physical cinema visits as safely as possible even in times of pandemic, there are greater obstacles to organizing the EFM in the Gropius Bau as well as other meeting-driven, face-to-face events. Due to the current pandemic conditions, the European Film Market (10.-17.02.2022) will be realized purely digitally, and the Berlinale Co-Production Market (Feb. 12-16, 2022), Berlinale Talents (Feb. 12-17, 2022) and World Cinema Fund-Day will also be conducted online.