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Berlinale appoints not one, but two new heads of festival

June 20, 2018

Dieter Kosslick, who has led the Berlinale since 2001, is being replaced in 2019 by Locarno's artistic director, Carlo Chatrian, and Mariette Rissenbeek, managing director of German Films.

Schweiz Locarno Filmfestival-Leiter Carlo Chatrian
Image: picture-alliance/KEYSTONE/T. Delley

Italian Carlo Chatrian, who has been artistic director of the Locarno film festival since 2012, will become the new artistic director of the Berlinale as of 2019. Mariette Rissenbeek, the Dutch-born director of German Films, was appointed managing director. German Films is the national information and advisory center for the promotion of German films worldwide.

Monika Grütters, Germany's commissioner for culture and the media, officially revealed the names of the Berlinale's new joint leaders at a press conference on Friday. The pair will replace German Dieter Kosslick, who has headed the Berlinale since 2001.

Read more:Dieter Kosslick, the man behind the festival 

In an interview with Germany's Zeit Online magazine last summer, Chatrian didn't seem to expect to be named for the role. While he said he considered the Berlinale to be one of the world's most exciting festivals, he didn't believe he would be chosen to direct it, as he doesn't speak German. He does however understand the language. 

The Turin-born former journalist and film programmer has worked at the Locarno film festival  since 2002, taking over as artistic director in 2012. His new position at the Berlinale means the Swiss festival will have to launch its own search for a new director.

The search for Kosslick's successor sparked a major discussion in Germany, with prominent directors signing an open letter calling for a fresh start for the Berlin festival.

eg/ct (with dpa)