The second part of the 2021 edition of the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) started on Wednesday.
After an online event held in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer Special would only feature open-air film screenings in 16 cinemas between June 9 and June 20 as a cautionary measure, Berlinale announced.
The winners of the festival’s Golden Bear and most other Berlinale awards had already been announced in March and the awards ceremony is scheduled for June 13 in the central festival venue, a specially built open-air cinema on the historic “Museum Island” in the center of Berlin.
With Berlin’s senate accepting the festival’s COVID-19 test concept amid decreasing COVID-19 infection rates, the number of visitors allowed per screening was higher than previously expected. “We are very happy about the new concept for the Berlinale Summer Special,” said Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, directors of the festival.
“With the Summer Special we want to re-awake the desire for cinema and want to contribute to the revival of cultural activities with audience,” the directors stressed, adding that it would be a special festival that had been missed for a long time.
As in the previous year, Germany’s most important film festival received 10.2 million euros (12.4 million U.S. dollars) of public funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. The government also promised to provide additional support from a federal aid program for the cultural industry to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic