Film festivals provide a space for artistic expression and enable peaceful dialogue. They are places of encounter and exchange and contribute to international understanding. We believe that through the power of films and open discussions, we can help foster empathy, awareness, understanding – even and especially in painful times like these.
Our sympathy goes out to all the victims of the humanitarian crises in the Middle East and elsewhere. We want everyone’s suffering to be recognized and for our programme to be open to discussing different perspectives on the complexity of the world. We are also concerned to see that anti- Semitism, anti-Muslim resentment and hate speech are spreading in Germany and around the world. As a cultural institution, we take a firm stand against all forms of discrimination and are committed to intercultural understanding.
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“We are particularly proud of this year’s selection which achieves the best possible balance between auteurs we cherish and admire and powerful new voices in the independent cinema landscape. What drives the selection is of course the variety of the stories and their storytellers, but also and even more so the plurality of styles with the goal of showing the extensive possibilities of cinema language.”
20 films will compete for the Golden and the Silver Bears, among them two first features as well as two documentary forms. Productions from 30 countries are represented. 19 films are world premieres. Six films were directed or co-directed by women. Nine filmmakers have been at the festival before, six in Competition.