With all precautionary measure, Berlinale is back to business with physical screenings in the forthcoming 72 Berlin International Film Festival. Here is what Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek and Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian have to say.
“The conclusion of the 2020 Berlinale marked the beginning of a long pause caused by the pandemic. Since then, those of us in the cultural industries, particularly freelance artists, but also people working in an organisational capacity, have repeatedly had to adjust to new conditions: from adapted workplaces and procedures to “new” ways of digital communication – something which had a profound impact on many people’s everyday lives – to complying with social distancing anytime and anywhere,” says Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek, who is gearing up for Berlinale 2022.
“This has not been an easy or particularly rewarding experience. With the 2022 Berlinale, we would like to offer filmmakers and audiences the opportunity to once again meet and exchange ideas in person, to immerse themselves in the world of cinema, talk about the films and become inspired and motivated,” Rissenbeek says.
She adds: This year, we are welcoming the filmmakers for seven days in total, after which audiences will have the opportunity to watch repeat screenings of the films in Berlin cinemas up to February 20.
“This year, all of us who are shaping the Berlinale are particularly motivated. We want to create a platform for social issues. We want to give people a voice, we want to think about and discuss diversity, gender equality, sustainability and the promotion of young talent.”
Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian says, “The 2021 Berlinale taught us the value of flexibility and the extraordinary capacity to adapt not only for films and artists, but also for cinema and those who like us support it. The year 2022 comes with a new set of challenges. We believe that flexibility must now be replaced by firmness in the context of a project that can no longer forsake its primary role.”
He says the films of the 72nd Berlinale provide a good description of the world in its current changed state, but also of how it was, and how it should or could be. Faced with the desire to reproduce what we have lived through (and we inhabitants of planet Earth have never been so far apart and yet so similar in our lifestyles), many films have responded with the power of the imagination, humour, the emotions, and physical confrontations that are sometimes passionate and sometimes violent.
“Masters and newcomers find themselves on the same wavelength, ready to challenge the dominant sameness with stories that are surprising for their stylistic freedom and the desire to experiment,” he says.