New revelations on the Nazi past of the Berlinale’s founding director Alfred Bauer

A study commissioned by the Berlinale management has now confirmed that Alfred Bauer, first director of the Berlin International Film Festival, had played a significant role in the Nazi propaganda machine. During the denazification process (1945-1947), he concealed his involvement with the Nazi regime, adamantly claiming to be an active opponent of the party, which he had actually joined in 1937. This revelation leads to questions on the German cultural scene in the post-war era and the very founding of the Berlinale itself.
A summary of the study results can be found here.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced new representation and inclusion standards

With the goal to encourage equitable representation on and off screen, in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience, new standards for Oscars® eligibility in the Best Picture category were designed and now presented to the public. Inspired by the British Film Institute (BFI) Diversity Standards used for certain funding eligibility in the UK and eligibility in some categories of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Awards, a task force was commissioned to develop standards which serve the specific needs of the Academy.
“The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”
As of 2024, the 96th Oscar race, a film must meet several standards in order to be eligible to contend for BEST PICTURE.
Press release you finde here

TIFF raising the voice fuelled by Toronto’s cultural diversity

One of the greatest unique selling points of the TIFF is certainly its role in the ecosystem of the film industry, but even more so its understanding of being an immanent part of a city that is one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities. It is therefore not surprising that the 2020 edition also has as its overarching goal the most memorable experience possible for its audiences, and at the same time a continuing commitment to normalizing gender parity as to bringing cinema made by filmmakers not only from the African diaspora. Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head, proves once again that it is not only about listening to his audiences but building relationships with them.
More information about the plans for TIFF 2020 such as the combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences, and industry talks … can be found here

Step by step to more diversity

The film industry is currently undergoing gradual change, and not only on an international level. Yesterday it was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , which achieved its post-#OscarsSoWhite goals of diversifying its membership, extending invitations to 819 film industry professionals, 45% of which are women, 36% from underrepresented ethnic and racial communities, and 49% international, from 68 countries.
In the German film industry, too, the issue of diversity is gaining increasing attention: „Filming more diversity and telling stories that would otherwise remain unheard: We want to see our diverse, multicultural society modern and in all its facets on the big screen“, emphasizes Helge Albers, Managing Director of the Film Board of Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, thus making it the first among the country’s state funding programs to focus explicitly on promoting diversity in the German film industry.

Top programmers debate the value and responsibility of festivals in times of Corona

In the wake of the unpredictable development of the Corona Pandemic, the Spring and Summer Film Festivals were forced to quickly decide on one of three alternatives: „cancellation, postponement, or going online„. Most of the major international festivals ruled out completely cancelling their festivals. Out of their responsibility towards the filmmakers, the films and the markets, as well as their audience, many dared experiment online and have encountered some unexpected results: Emilie Bujès (Artistic Director, Visions du Réel) – Sergio Fant (Berlinale Selection Committee and Head of Programming, Trento Film Festival) – Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director, IDFA) – Paolo Moretti (Artistic Director, Directors‘ Fortnight) – Miguel Valverde (Director, IndieLisboa) share their insights into their preliminary concerns, decisions and ultimate experiences in a discussion moderated by Finn Halligan (Chief Film Critic, Screen International) as part of Visions du Réel 2020.
The moderated discussion can be found here

Moving online-a major strategy for film festivals in this time of crisis

Moving film festivals online“ is a topic that has long been avoided, but now more than welcome in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is a key finding of Screen International‘s online panel discussion of Thursday, April 9th, with three film festival heads: Tine Fischer, founder and director of CPH:DOX, Tricia Tuttle, director of the BFI Festivals including LGBTIQ+ festival Flare, and Jaie Laplante, executive director and director of programming at the Miami Film Festival.
The kick-off event of the live Q&A „Talks“ series not only offered interesting and inspiring insight into innovative solutions and examples of successful film festival crisis management, but also presented an outlook on how the film festival and the cinema landscape might develop in the wake of the crisis.
Cost-free recording of the 30-minute online discussion and live Q&A is available here

We use the chance we don’t have – new forms of expression of film festivals in the crisis

As each day further film festivals announce their 2020 edition as online formats, more and more alternative, innovative programme forms are being found that reflect the process of the crisis. The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, for example, is placing a blog as an experiment for creating a forum in which many people can have their say and encourage reflection on society.
The talks in German and English can be found here

Fast forward to the film festival of the future

While some autumn film festivals seemingly completely unaffected by the crisis are announcing their early-bird offers, among the film festivals with dates in spring and summer there is perplexity, pragmatism in the sense of cancelling the 2020 edition, activism with partial offers to meet the expectations of the financiers up to a courageous, visionary attitude to use the need of the hour for a test run of film festival concepts of the future. The CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival has already distinguished itself as a pioneer, and others have already announced their online edition.
A list of German Films gives an overview of the current festival season, some of which extends into the summer.