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Berlinale excitement

December 28, 2009

The head of the Berlinale festival expects a great star turnout during the film festival in February. Future Berlinale festivals may look very different as change sweeps the film industry and the red carpet gets greener.

A picture of the Berlinale's icon: a red bear
The festival celebrates its 60th birthday this year

Star director Martin Scorsese, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan are among those slated to light up the red carpet in Berlin this winter. They will take part in the 60th annual Berlinale Film Festival from February 11 to 21.

Some guests have been unable to confirm their appearance, such as the embattled director Roman Polanski whose film "The Ghost Writer" is scheduled to be screened at the festival. The 76-year-old director is still under house arrest at his chalet in Switzerland during his battle to avoid extradition to the United States over a case of statutory rape in 1977.

But Dieter Kosslick, head of the Berlinale festival, is sure there will be enough star power to go around. "If just the stars from the nominated films come, the red carpet is sure to be full," he said.

"Happy Bears-day Berlinale"

Dieter Kosslick is pictured next to a Berlinale bear
Dieter Kosslick sees interesting changes ahead for the film industryImage: picture-alliance/ ZB

The festival's motto - "Happy Bears-day Berlinale!" - pays homage to the official symbol of the city of Berlin, the bear, that also appears on its coat of arms. The producer of the film that wins the highest honors at the festival will be awarded the Golden Bear trophy.

During the festival, Kosslick hopes to shed light on the history of the Berlinale, but he is also planning to preview some technological changes that are in store for the awards show.

"The keyword is digitalization. The whole film industry is embracing this kind of change," he said. In the future, films may be digitally projected by special satellites, and 3-D films may even be in the running at the Berlinale in the coming years.

"Run If You Can"

The film opening the festivities will be "Renn, wenn Du kannst" or "Run if you can" by director Dietrich Brueggemann. The film will also introduce an ongoing series investigating the perspective of German cinema.

Brueggemann developed the script together with his sister, Anna Brueggemann, who also took on a leading role in the film. Actors Robert Gwisdek and Jacob Matschenz also play major parts in "Run if you can." The film tells the story of a young man in a wheelchair who has doubts about his first love.

Brueggemann, who graduated from the Academy of Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg, was already a guest at the Berlinale in 2006 for "Neun Szenen" or "Nine Scenes."


The 60th Berlinale will highlight another concern: the environment. Kosslick has ensured that environmentally friendly cars will be used to transport stars to the event, limited amounts of paper will be used, and low voltage lighting will illuminate the red carpet.

A picture of workers walking along the red carpet at the Berlinale
Environmentally friendly changes await this year's red carpetImage: picture-alliance / dpa

"We can't just show films that set out to make the world better and then do nothing about the problems ourselves," Kosslick explained.

Author: Sabine Oelze/dpa/AP (gsw)
Editor: Stuart Tiffen