Berlinale able to go ahead as in-person festival in February | News

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The Berlin Film Festival will be able to go ahead as an in-person event, a festival spokesperson has confirmed to Screen.

The news comes following a meeting of the Berlin Senate earlier today, during which the city’s new mayor Franziska Giffey confirmed her commitment to the festival taking place physically and praising plans put forward by the Berlinale to allow that to happen under strict Covid protocols.

The festival is now awaiting final sign-off on those plans and intends to issue a press release tomorrow revealing the new protocols that will be in place for delegates who attend.

“We have to wait for this final go-ahead before we can officially say yes. We hope to have that by tomorrow,” said the spokeperson.

“The plans are not only about the festival being able to take place in person, it’s about how the festival will take place. This is not only about testing and mask-wearing – the structure of the festival is going to change a little bit and this is what we need to discuss in detail with a couple of people who have been invited to the festival.

“It’s about capacity [in cinemas and venues] but it’s also about ensuring that we can have all the elements that are necessary to make the festival – we will have opening night, awards ceremonies, red carpets and press conferences.”

As previously announced, the European Film Market (EFM) is going online for a second year.

The festival programme is expected to be unaffected by the Berlinale’s final Covid protocols. “We will have a little bit less than in 2020 and much more than in 2021,” said the spokesperson, who added that official selection titles would only be available to view on-site in press and public screenings for festival badge-holders (EFM badge-holders will have online access to market screenings).

“We are still getting signs that people want to travel to Berlin, there is a huge interest especially from all the films that have been selected so far to be here physically to present their films to an audience,” said the spokesperson.

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