Q&A: Dieter Kosslick

Berlin director Dieter Kosslick discusses the thought process behind this year's lineup

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Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick sat down with The Hollywood Reporter's German bureau chief Scott Roxborough to talk politics, the return of German cinema and the need for collaboration.

The Hollywood Reporter: German films have made a bit of a comeback in the official lineup. What's the reason for this resurgence?

Dieter Kosslick: If you look at the official program as a whole, I think there will be more German films at the Berlinale this year than ever before. That is partly to do with the way films are being produced nowadays. So "The International" is, depending on how you want to look at it, an American/English/German film. And because of financing from the new Federal German Film Fund, many films are German or have German elements, like "The Reader." That we have so many German films in the official lineup has something to do with the fact that so many big German films are being made right now, as are German co-productions with international partners.

THR: The Berlinale is considered the most political of the big festivals. Is this "political" label sometimes a burden?

Kosslick: Sometimes, when the label "political film festival" is used to mean we don't show any artistic films. Films such as "Rage," the new film from Sally Potter, for example, which is in competition this year. That can be annoying. Politics has been a recurring theme running through my entire term as Berlinale director. But that doesn't mean we don't have artistic films. If you see the entire festival, you'll see how wide a range we have. Again this year, we'll have the Forum Expanded, where art meets the movie business -- where we cross all media and experimental borders.

THR: You're a big collaborator, working together with all the festival sections to select films. What advantages are there to this approach?

Kosslick: The big one is that people from all different sections can make suggestions (like) "Maybe this Panorama/Forum/Generations film would be good for Competition." It helps to get the balance right. When we're putting together the program we think, "What's missing? A small film? A big film? An independent film? A first-time director?"
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