Berlin: Festival Director Dieter Kosslick Staying Put

Arno Burgi/Newscom
Dieter Kosslick

Kosslick denies rumors he will switch jobs to become Berlin's next culture secretary.

Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick has denied reports he will leave his current job to take up a new position in German politics.

Kosslick indicated Thursday he will stay at the Berlinale to complete his current contract, which runs through 2016.

Rumors that Kosslick might be planning an earlier exit began swirling through the German media this week, with suggestions that the upbeat, slightly kooky festival director could take over as Berlin's new culture secretary. The ministry post became suddenly vacant shortly before this year's festival when state secretary Andre Schmitz abruptly resigned amid charges of tax evasion.

But Kosslick, who has been head of Germany's biggest film festival since May, 2001, has dropped hints he may not renew his contract past 2016. Under his reign, the Berlinale has grown both in size and importance for the international film industry and for the city of Berlin.

Despite some criticism of his choices in regards to the festival's official selection, there are few that would like to see the Kosslick era come to an early end in Berlin.