Berlin Film Festival’s Summer Event in Doubt Amid New Pandemic Restrictions

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The Berlin Film Festival’s planned in-person event this summer is in doubt amid new coronavirus pandemic restrictions set out in Germany’s recently updated Infection Protection Act.

The changes “now make the planning of the Berlinale Summer Special a bigger challenge,” organizers said in a statement on Wednesday. “The festival directors are currently in contact with the authorities to determine the next steps for an all-outdoor event. The Berlinale also wants to explore the possibility of a pilot cultural event with mandatory testing.”

They concluded that a final decision regarding the Summer Special will be made at the beginning of May. “Everyone’s health and curbing the development of the pandemic is, of course, the top priority when making any considerations,” the festival said. “Postponing the Summer Special to a time other than June, or an online audience festival, has never been an option.”

Said the Berlinale’s director duo Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian” “From the start, what we’ve really wanted to do is present the Berlinale films to audiences at a shared cinema experience.”

The open air option unfortunately does not allow for presentations of 35mm prints. This is why it was decided to completely postpone the Retrospective of the Berlinale 2021, which is based largely on classic film footage, to the Festival in 2022 in order to preserve its curatorial requirements.

The Forum Expanded exhibition that was planned to open on May 18 at SAVVY Contemporary will be cancelled for 2021. The artist group The Living and the Dead Ensemble will instead show from May 18.

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