More than 400 protagonists of the international film industry have written an open letter to the Minister of State for Culture, Claudia Roth (68), to express their dissatisfaction with her decision to direct the future Berlin International Film Festival.
Roth had previously announced that in future the Berlinale would no longer be run by a double leadership, but by a single person. For this reason, the contract of the previous artistic director of the film festival, Carlo Chatrian (51), will not be extended.
International film stars against Claudia Roth
The protest against this questionable measure was not long in coming: As the magazine “Variety” reports, more than 400 filmmakers have now signed an open letter to the German politician, in which they criticize their decision with sharp words.
There are numerous well-known names among the signatories: in addition to the legendary Hollywood director Martin Scorsese (80), Tilda Swinton (62), Kristen Stewart (33), Margarethe von Trotta (81) and the Austrian film star and cabaret artist Josef Hader also signed (61) strong for the whereabouts of the Italian film critic Carlo Chatrian.
“Harmful, unprofessional and immoral”
The letter read: “We, a diverse group of filmmakers from around the world, who have great respect for the Berlin International Film Festival as a venue for great cinema of all kinds, protest against the harmful, unprofessional and immoral behavior of Minister of State Claudia Roth, who forced the esteemed Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian to resign despite a promise to renew his contract.”
It also calls for an extension of Chatrian’s term to “repair the damage done to this important film festival.” Roth’s demand for a “strong hand”, which the festival allegedly needs in the form of a single artistic director, is “questionable and politically backward”.
Who will take over the management of the Berlinale?
Chatrian’s co-director Mariëtte Rissenbeek (67) announced in March that she would not renew her contract as managing director of the festival and would leave her position after the 74th Berlinale at the end of March 2024.
Before Chatrian and Rissenbeek took over as a duo, Dieter Kosslick (75) had run the Berlin Film Festival alone for 18 years. The new director is now to be appointed by a commission chaired by Claudia Roth.