Berlinale 2021 implements changes to the upcoming gender-sensitive physical festival

Ahram Online , Wednesday 2 Sep 2020

The 71st edition of the Berlin International Film Festival is scheduled to take place between 11 and 21 February 2021

Berlinale bear statuettes are pictured during the awards ceremony of the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany February 20, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

The management of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) has revealed that the festival's 71st edition is planned as a physical festival with a hybrid model intended for the European Film Market (EFM).

The organisers have also implemented some changes to the upcoming Berlinale.

The Generation segment (dedicated to works by and for the youngest audience), which consists of Generation Kplus and Generation 14plus will not screen short films this year and will only show feature-length films with a running time of at least 60 minutes. The official registration for Generation opened on 1 September.

The Berlinale has reorganised the prizes awarded by the International Jury in the Main Competition in order to define them in a gender-neutral way. Instead of the awards for the Best Actor and the Best Actress, a “Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance” and a “Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance” will be awarded on a gender-neutral basis.

“We believe that not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry,” commented the Berlinale's directors.

In addition thereto, the “Silver Bear Jury Prize” constitutes a further new awards category.

In the official release, the organisers have added that "the former 'Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize' was suspended in 2020 due to new findings about the position of Alfred Bauer, and this prize will no longer be awarded in the future. Bauer was the festival’s first director (1951 - 1976) who according to Die Zeit paper's article published in early 2020  held a previously unknown “high-ranking position in the Nazi film bureaucracy." According to Berlinale, the evaluation of an external specialist historical study on Alfred Bauer will be available in late summer and then published.

The International Jury of the Competition will award the following eight prizes:

Golden Bear for Best Film (awarded to the film’s producers)
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Silver Bear for Best Director
Silver Bear Jury Prize
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance
Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution

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