The long-time director of Berlin's largest international film festival, Dieter Kosslick, could be asked to leave his post in 2019, according to media reports. He's held the post for 16 years.
Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick and Monika Grütters, German Commissioner for Culture and Media, are involved in talks about the future direction of the Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin's daily "B.Z." reported. According to "B.Z.," the paper's contacts in government circles had said Kosslick's current contract, which runs until 2019, would not be renewed.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson from Grütters's office would not confirm the report. Her office is responsible for the festival's funding of over seven million euros ($7.6 million) and the naming of a possible Kosslick replacement. Kosslick himself was not available for comment.
Attracts international stars
Dieter Kosslick has led the Berlin International Film Festival, known as the Berlinale, since 2001. In that time, the event has attracted major Hollywood stars from Meryl Streep to George Clooney to the German capital. However, the festival has not managed to achieve international prestige on par with the Cannes or Venice festivals.
In an attempt to develop its own unique image, Kosslick has shaped the Berlinale into a festival that emphasizes human rights. It also features specialty sections focusing on queer film, film and cuisine, and up-and-coming filmmakers, among other emphases.
With the yearly program in February composed of some 400 films in various sections, the Berlinale is considered the largest publicly attended film festival in the world - drawing more than 500,000 viewers annually.
als/kbm (with dpa)