Berlinale Co-Head Mariette Rissenbeek To Step Down After 2024 Edition

Berlinale co-head Mariette Rissenbeek has decided to step down as executive director after the 2024 edition of the festival.

Germany’s Ministry for Culture and Media announced her decision on Thursday, after a meeting of the supervisory board of federal cultural events in Berlin (KBB).

The ministry said the board had noted with “regret and respect” that Rissenbeck had informed them of her decision not to stay on after the 2024 edition.

“The Supervisory Board thanked Ms. Rissenbeek for the work she had done and recognized her achievements,” read a statement.

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“According to the supervisory board, she successfully managed the Berlinale with the greatest personal commitment and, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, saving it from serious damage.”

Rissenbeek was the first woman to head up the Berlin Film Festival.

She was announced as co-head in 2018, in the role of executive director, alongside Carlo Chatrian in the role of artistic director, and took up the post in June 2019.

The joint management structure marked a departure for the festival which had been under the stewardship of director Dieter Kosslick from 2001 onwards

The co-heads found themselves navigating the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, with that edition being the last major festival with a full-blown market and attendance to take place that year.

The pair then managed an online edition in 2021, and a hybrid edition in 2022, in which a scaled-down physical festival took place but the market was held online.

Chatrian is expected to stay on after 2024.

The festival returned to full force in February for a politically charged edition, marked by the war in Ukraine and the Iran protests, and featuring Kristen Stewart as the jury president and as well as an emotional career tribute to Steven Spielberg.

In a statement released by the Berlinale, Rissenbeek said it had been a pleasure to see the festival “shine in its full glory” in February and explained the reasoning behind her decision to step down.

“When I accepted my contract in 2019, I knew that it ended after I reached retirement age. I didn’t expect a continuation of the contract, but I also didn’t want to rule it out,” she said. “After the successful completion of the festival in February, I began to focus on the decision in earnest and to share my considerations with Carlo.”

“I will now be settling into the planning of the 2024 Berlinale with passion and energy, and I’m looking forward to another brilliant, interesting and successful festival edition, after which I will bid it farewell. After 2024, I wish to spend more time on tasks at foundations and NGOs. This decision wasn’t easy, I’ve grown very fond of the team and the festival.”

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