Berlin Film Festival Reshuffles Panorama Team

Courtesy of the Berlin International Film Festival
From left: Wieland Speck, Paz Lazaro, Michael Stutz and Andreas Struck

Wieland Speck, who has run the main sidebar for 25 years, will move to a consultant role, with program manager Paz Lazaro taking over as head of the section together with Michael Stutz and Andreas Struck.

The Berlin Film Festival has reshuffled the team for its Panorama sidebar, with longtime head Wieland Speck shifting to a consultant role and a new team, headed by current program manager Paz Lazaro, taking over the reins together with Michael Stutz and Andreas Struck.

Lazaro, who has been program manager at Panorama since 2006, will be the formal head of the section but will curate the sidebar together with Stutz and Struck. Stutz will take over Lazaro's title as program manager and oversee the section's Teddy Award, which honors excellence in gay cinema. Struck will also handle editorial and communications responsibilities for the section.

Speck has been intimately associated with the Panorama sidebar since 1982, when he was brought on board by the late Manfred Salzgeber, who originally developed the art house showcase to complement the main Berlin festival program. In 1987, they launched the Teddy Award, the world's first, and still most important, film honor for queer cinema. Together, the two helped build the Panorama into one of the most prestigious showcases for art house cinema in the world.

Speck took over as head of Panorama in 1992.

“I want to thank Wieland from the bottom of my heart for the fantastic job he has done with Panorama," Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick said Monday in a statement."He established a platform for ambitious independent cinema, and successfully positioned it on the international market. I’m especially pleased that he will now be assisting us with his expertise and experience and programming the Panorama's 40th Jubilee in 2019."