I have no pleasure in Carlo Chatrian’s abrupt departure. The Swiss native is a cinema enthusiasts. During my interview with the former Locarno Film Festival head, I found him to be engaging, positive and passionate about the cinematic art form. After taking the helm in Berlin in 2020 following the departure of Kosslick, Carlo seemed a right fit to elevate the event into the same leagues as the Cannes and Venice fests. Skeptical thoughts came to my mind cause of Chatrian’s intellectual demeanour. The German capital’s institutions are not known for easy change especially headed by outsiders. After having my accreditation rejected cause of the Chat Cinema Podcast critiquing the Berlinale, this is an organisation resistant to even listening. Now, I feel vindicated.
As I was attending an event on Saturday September 2nd, suddenly a push notification came on my phone, “Resignation” at the Berlinale. Another one! Following Mariette Rissenbeek’s earlier exit, the dual in charge of one of the world’s biggest film festival checked out. Statements have been flying from the Ministry of Culture about only wanting one creative head.
With his contract over in 2024, the search is on for a new creative director. The Berlinale will continue, the question is who would want to head the February Festival?