close
Sunday May 22, 2022

Berlin filmfest to go forward in person as Covid surges

Cinemas and theatres are still open in Germany but most large events and fairs across the country have been cancelled to try to curb the spread of the virus.

By AFP
January 19, 2022
Berlin filmfest to go forward in person as Covid surges
Berlin filmfest to go forward in person as Covid surges

Berlin: The Berlinale, Europe´s first major film festival of the year, will take place next month as an in-person event, organisers confirmed Wednesday, just as the Omicron wave is expected to peak in Germany.

Surprising some observers expecting it to go online for the second year running, the Berlinale announced a programme with 18 films in competition.

It includes new movies from France´s Francois Ozon and Claire Denis, "Carol" screenwriter Phyllis Nagy and previous winner Paolo Taviani of Italy.

Expecting thousands of guests from around the world, festival directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian told a virtual news conference they had come up with a plan with state health authorities for its 72nd edition.

It includes a shorter programme, requirements for participants to be vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 and smaller audiences to keep participants safe.

"We have decided to go with an in-presence festival because we really believe that the collective experience is at the centre of a film festival," Chatrian said.

Berlinale, which ranks along with Cannes and Venice among Europe´s top cinema showcases, is set to run between February 10 and 20.

But the screenings for reporters, critics and industry participants have been curtailed to seven days, followed by four days of movies for the general public.

Cinemas and theatres are still open in Germany but most large events and fairs across the country have been cancelled to try to curb the spread of the virus.