Berlinale 2020

Take A Chance to Redeem 

“In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity” by JFK. 

The countdown to Berlinale has begun. But before 70thedition of film festival has unrolled a single film reports from local press have painted a glooming picture. A crisis in the making months before the first walk on the Red Carpet.  Worrisome, the sharks are circling. Not a surprise given the past festival proved mediocre.  Not to mention, team Black and Paper had its credentials revoked.  We might have said somethings that hurt some feelings.

The new team has it work cut out given the state of situation. A loss of theaters and sponsors gives an outward feeling of a ship taking on water. However, I am going to cautiously support new heads Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek. The two have their work cut out rebuilding a large film event asscicated with emphasizing quantity over quality. I cannot remember the last time a relevant film premiered at the Palast.

What is this festival? 

What is the Berlinale? A professional public festival for the masses, yes. Unlike other film global events, the Belrinale is the most up close and personal, where everyone can have a chance conversation with a director, producer, star, or critic.  Once, I shared a shuttle with the head of major independent studio.  We spoke about the films we saw.  

Berlinale gained a political reputation only screening series films.  However, no one would compare Potsdamer Platz to the glamor of Cannes on the Rivera. Venice corners the artistic cache. Sundance keeps the indie world in its back pocket.   Lacking this or that, these are challenges faced by a cinema event searching for a way forward.  There is room for a different approach on the film festival circuit.  The type of “different approach” is the question. 

The 2020 festival experience has to be reinvented, not reinterpreted based on past pretensions. No need to make so many statements on the freshmen outing.  The pressure is on. Can the present management produce a compelling, worthwhile Berlinale?  I do not expect a home run.  A second base would work. 

The Berlinale starts February 20th.