Renowned Film Professionals Advocate for Carlo Chatrian's Contract Extension at Berlinale
Over 300 prominent figures in the film industry, including Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas, Joanna Hogg, and Radu Jude, have come together to sign an open letter urging the reinstatement and extension of outgoing Berlinale Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's contract beyond 2024. By: Theng Min Yee
The open letter, directed towards Roth, accuses her of displaying "harmful, unprofessional, and immoral behaviour" in her efforts to compel the esteemed Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian to step down, despite earlier promises of contract extension.
Chatrian recently conveyed his intention to step down from his role following next year's edition of the Berlinale, citing the German Ministry for Culture and Media's decision to revert to a single director management structure for the festival as the primary reason for his departure.
German Culture Minister Claudia Roth had previously stated her preference for a single director to lead the Berlinale. This sentiment was reaffirmed during a meeting of the supervisory board of federal cultural events in Berlin.
In his statement, Chatrian acknowledged his initial belief in the potential for continuity if he remained a part of the festival. However, he concluded that the altered structure presented no longer provided the conditions for him to continue as Artistic Director, making the upcoming festival edition the culmination of his fulfilling journey.
Chatrian's resignation coincides with the decision of his co-head, Mariette Rissenbeek, to step down as well as executive director after the 2024 festival edition. Rissenbeek made history as the first woman to lead the Berlin Film Festival, assuming her role alongside Chatrian in 2018.
The joint leadership marked a departure from the festival's previous director, Dieter Kosslick, who had overseen proceedings since 2001. Chatrian and Rissenbeek navigated the challenges of the early COVID-19 pandemic, adapting to an online edition in 2021 and a hybrid format in 2022, which featured a scaled-down physical festival alongside an online market.
The open letter represents a formidable show of support for Chatrian and underscores the impact of his leadership within the global film community. The signatories believe that Chatrian's vision and influence are pivotal to the continued success and growth of the Berlinale.
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