Press Releases
European Film Market & Co-Production Market

  • |

Feb 6, 2018

Diversity at Berlinale

Ever since its foundation in 1951, the exploration of the multivoicedness and diversity of society has been a defining element of the Berlin International Film Festival’s identity. Art and culture always engage themselves in both contemporary aesthetic and social issues - a phenomenon reflected in the film programmes of the different sections and in the initiatives of the Berlinale each year.
As an international cultural event, we are a forum where questions and ideas are heard and discussed. This includes, for instance, illuminating and embracing the perspectives and life realities of underrepresented groups (e.g., in relation to gender, ethnicity, local affiliation, age, disability, sexual identity, cis- and trans-identity, religion).

The Panorama section has long been committed to queer cinema and initiated the TEDDY, a gay-lesbian film prize, in 1987. Since then it has been awarded annually to films from any of the Berlinale sections. And since the Berlinale 2013, the NATIVe special series has been devoted to cinematic storytelling of Indigenous peoples worldwide.

In addition, by supporting filmmakers and their projects, the Berlinale Talents, Berlinale Co-Production Market, and World Cinema Fund initiatives proactively and structurally advocate diversity in the film industry.

Striving to see the world from different points-of-view, Berlinale Talents reflects and practises the great social experiment of the globalised world, but one with open borders and a strong communal structure. Hailing from 81 countries, the 250 outstanding film professionals participating in Berlinale Talents this year (among them 128 women and 122 men) bring a staggering diversity of perspectives and identities to the table. Through its very structure and topics raised, the initiative sees itself as an innovation lab for the global film industries and invites the audience to explore questions of diversity and respect.

Since it was launched in October 2004 on the initiative of the Berlinale and the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Berlinale World Cinema Fund (WCF) has been committed to the development and support of cinema in regions with a weak filmmaking infrastructure, as well as to cultural diversity in German cinemas. The WCF is a film funding project with a distinct cultural, artistic and innovative profile that has been successful in fostering international cooperation. Of course, it has played an economic role. To explore all topics related to cultural diversity as well as films and projects developed outside a Eurocentric and exotic perspective is an integral component of the WCF’s concept and core programme. Diversity is a part of the WCF’s DNA.

As a market, the European Film Market (EFM) not only follows developments but is also a platform for calling attention to trends and promoting visions of the future. Within this context, the EFM has set itself the goal of researching the market relevance of diversity from a global, European, and German perspective. Accordingly, the EFM examines diversity as a corporate strategy. In other words, to what extent should diversity be integrated into decision-making processes, into considerations of personnel and curatorial matters in a cultural industry such as film? How do we want to do our share in making the film industry reflect audiences more and in the broadest sense, as well as promote the making of films that portray a more diverse and inclusive world?

With these events at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, we would also like to contribute to systemic change within the industry. During the Berlinale 2018, the following events will be held on the topic of diversity:

All EFM events will be held in English. Admission is for accredited visitors only.

EFM Industry Debate: Why Diversity Matters in the Film Industry
Saturday, February 17, 4pm – 6pm
Venue: “EFM Horizon”, Berliner Freiheit 2, 10785 Berlin
Key film business professionals exchange with Dame Vivian Hunt (McKinsey & Company), following the presentation of McKinsey’s “Delivering through Diversity” report.

Reimaging Africa: How to Sell a Continent
Sunday, February 18, 3pm – 4pm
Venue: “Berlinale Africa Hub”, Gropius Park
Focusing on production, distribution, sales and promotion of African content continent-wide and globally, this conversation will highlight a few key-players who have tried out new strategies.

Empowering Women Film Producers – The Producers Programme for Women
Monday, February 19, 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Venue: “EFM Producers Hub”, Martin-Gropius-Bau
A case study of a remarkable and successful initiative by the Austrian Film Institute in which women film producers are actively encouraged and supported through a mentoring programme.

The New Normal - Diversity as a Selling Point
Tuesday, February 20, 5pm – 5.50pm
Venue: Drama Series Days, Zoo Palast
How diversity can become a key selling point for high-quality drama.

More information:

Berlinale Co-Production Market

Towards an inclusive and equal work environment – new perspectives for women and parents in the film industry

Saturday, February 17, 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Language: English
Venue: Green Chamber, Berlin House of Representatives, Niederkirchnerstr. 5, 10117 Berlin
Theme Talk with Hope Dickson Leach (Raising Films, United Kingdom), Jonas Dornbach (Komplizen Film, Germany) and Alessia Sonaglioni (EWA - European Audiovisual Women's Network, Italy)
Time’s up! In the wake of a (hopefully) permanently changed perception of women (in the film industry), we want to tackle the next area: how our system’s lack of accountability and hostile work environments often exclude mothers - and other carers. Gender imbalance only gets worse when motherhood comes into play. Why is it so difficult to have a sustainable career in our industry and take care of children? We want to talk about ways toward a more inclusive hiring policy and a more considerate work environment.
Admission is for accredited visitors only.


Berlinale World Cinema Fund Day 2018: Making Things Happen
Wednesday, February 21, 10.30am – 2.30pm
Venue: Filmhaus, Potsdamer Straße 2, 4th floor
Language: English

Talking About Success, Innovation and Awareness
The WCF’s role and strategies in Germany, Europe, and the funding regions
Director’s Talk: Following its screening, there will be a talk about the WCF-supported film Las herederas (The Heiresses, Berlinale Competition 2018) with the director Marcelo Martinessi.
Critics’ Talk: What does innovation mean? A critical and self-critical talk about innovative cinema in- and outside the funding regions. With Jay Weissberg (film critic, Variety) and Kong Rithdee (film critic, The Bangkok Post).
Producers’ Talk: WCF and German partners. Co-producing cinema in funding regions of the WCF. Are we effective enough? Sharing knowledge and experience, thinking about common goals and funding structures in Germany and Europe. With Helge Albers (producer, Germany), Nicole Gerhards (producer, Germany), Gema Juárez Allen (producer, Argentina).
In co-operation with the VDFP - Verband Deutscher Filmproduzenten e.V. (German Producers Association)
Free admission
More information:

Berlinale Talents

Technically a Woman: Cinematographers Speak Out
Tuesday, February 20, 5pm – 6.30pm
Venue: HAU1, Stresemannstraße 29, 10963 Berlin
Language: English
At the center of this year’s Berlinale Talents edition, two of the world’s most renowned camerawomen, Agnès Godard from France and American DoP Nancy Schreiber (the first and only woman thus far to receive the Presidents Award from The American Society of Cinematographers in 2017), will share and discuss with the public audience their vision of a future where more women make up the “technical crew.”
To attend, both the public and accredited visitors need to pick up a ticket at the ticket counter.


Panel: Establishing Indigenous Cinema
Tuesday, February, 3pm – 4.30pm
Venue: Embassy of Canada, Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin
Language: English
With reference to the distribution, sales, promotion and production, this panel will explore the specificities and sometimes challenges faced by indigenous films in the global film market.
Free admission. Please present a valid photo-ID at the door and allow sufficient time for embassy security.

In addition, Berlinale supports the following external events:

Closing the Gap. A Seminar With Creatives and Financiers on How to Take Action Towards 50/50 by 2020.
Saturday, February 17, 10am – 1pm
Venue: Meistersaal, Köthener Straße 38 (S&U-Bahn Potsdamer Platz)
Language: English
Hosted by the Swedish Film Institute, Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Germany and WIFT Nordic.
Free admission for WIFT members. Tickets for non-members via

Panel discussion: Culture Wants Change – A Conversation on Sexual Harassment in Film, Television and Theatre
Monday, February 19, 2pm – 5pm
Venue: TIPI am Kanzleramt, Große Querallee, 10557 Berlin
Language: German, with interpreters on hand for English and sign language
With Thomas Bellut (director of German television broadcaster ZDF, tbc), Michael Lehmann (Studio Hamburg Produktion Gruppe), Hans-Werner Meyer (Bundesverband Schauspiel e.V.), Barbara Rohm (ProQuote Film e.V.), Jasmin Tabatabai (actress), Karola Wille (director of Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, tbc), Natalia Wörner (actress)
Welcome speech: Dr. Katarina Barley (Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth; Interim Federal Minister for Labour and Social Affairs)
Hosts: initiated by Bundesverband Schauspiel (BFFS), with ProQuote Film e. V. and the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency
Free admission

9 crafts, 1 voice, 10 demands: Pro Quote Film!
Tuesday, February 20, 11am – 1pm
Venue: Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz
Language: German
Hosts: ProQuote Film e.V. in co-operation with Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts), Berlin
Free admission. Advance registration requested, via:

TEDDY Events

Queer Connection (In co-operation with the EFM)
Wednesday, February 21, 5pm – 6.30pm
Venue: Cinema at the Martin-Gropius-Bau
Language: English
Filmmakers and producers can pitch their films (irrespective of whether they are selected at the Berlinale or not) for 2 to 3 minutes and have the opportunity to network.

Followed by:
TEDDY Queer Industry Reception (In co-operation with the EFM)
Wednesday, February 21, 6.30pm – 8pm
Venue: Atrium at the Martin-Gropius-Bau
Only accredited visitors and invited guests will be admitted.

Teddy Awards - Diversity und Gender Equality in Beruf und Gesellschaft: Viel Luft nach oben in Sachen Gleichstellung
Thursday, February 22, 4pm
Venue: Embassy of Canada, Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin
Language: German
Free admission. Registration required via: Please present a valid photo-ID at the door and allow sufficient time for embassy security.

Moreover, 2018 will see another four TEDDY Diversity Talks. Two filmmakers each will speak in moderated 60 minute talks about the intersectionality of their films and the issues presented. The talks will be dedicated to works with queer topics from the Berlinale programme. The final programme can be found on

Press Office
February 6, 2018