The Berlinale will be face-to-face, although reduced and with some virtual sections

The Berlinale will be held in person, although under strict public restrictions and in a reduced format due to the pandemic, while some sections, as well as the European Film Market, will be exclusively digital.

The Berlin film festival will respect "strictly" the new rules imposed by the authorities of the city-state and German capital, Berlinale sources said in a statement.

This implies that only those vaccinated with the full schedule and who present a recent negative covid test will be able to access the movie theaters, where the use of a mask is required.

The format of the festival will be different from the usual: it will open on February 10, according to plan, but only the films from both the official competition section and the other sections will be presented until the 16th, when they will be delivered. the Bears and other official awards.

The day before, on the 15th, there will be a special tribute gala to the French actress Isabelle Huppert, who will receive the Golden Bear of Honor for her entire career.

This reduces to six days, instead of the usual ten, the presentation phase of the films with their corresponding teams. In the last four days, the films will be replaced in sessions open to the public, to which tickets will be offered at regular prices (about 10 euros per location).

The capacity of the rooms will be reduced to 50% of their capacity. There will be no parties or celebrations, although the red carpet will be laid out for directors, actors and international guests, who will also offer the corresponding press conferences in the first six days of the festival.

"We want to make the Berlinale possible and, depending on the current situation, we believe that we will achieve it," said the Minister of Culture, the green Claudia Roth. The celebration of the festival is intended to give "a sign of vitality" both to the sector and to the public, continues the head of Culture of the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Unlike other European rivals, such as the Cannes and Venice festivals, the Berlinale has always remained a festival open to the public. In the normal editions, up to 300,000 seats are on sale for all its sections, including the premieres of the films in competition.

"With this format it will be possible to hold a festival with the presence of both the public and the teams of the films that attend," affirmed the co-directors of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.

The full program of the festival, including the films in competition, will be presented on the 19th.

The European Film Market (EFM), on the other hand, as well as the Berlinale Talents section -debate sessions with directors or actors- and the World Cinema Fund, aimed at supporting peripheral cinematographies, will be held in an exclusively digital format.

The Berlinale will thus recover some of its face-to-face character, after the hybrid edition in which the festival took place in 2021. In that case, the presentation of the films was reduced to the strictly virtual, for five days in March, without the people attending Berlin the corresponding teams nor would there be any kind of ceremony or press conference.

It was followed by a so-called "summer festival" in July, which was attended by some international guests. It was intended for the general public and was developed mainly in open spaces, outdoors, under strict hygiene measures and reduced capacity.

Germany registered 80,430 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the highest number in a day since the beginning of the pandemic.

The average weekly incidence in Germany reached 407.5 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, a level that rises to 856.4 in Berlin, among the highest in the country.

72% of the population have received the complete vaccine schedule, 43.5% the booster dose and 74.7% at least the first dose.

As of next Saturday, new restrictions will apply in the German capital, announced yesterday the mayor of the city, the social democrat Franziska Giffey. The measures especially affect public transport, restaurants, cultural or sports events.


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