A decade of Dieter Kosslick


Highlights of Dieter Kosslick's reign as festival director of the Berlinale.

June 2001:
Dieter Kosslick takes over from long-running Berlinale director Moritz de Hadeln, moving to Berlin from his job as head of Germany's largest state film fund, the Filmstiftung NRW.

Kosslick's first Berlinale. Four German films premiere in competition, more than any Berlin fest since 1983. Organization is a disaster. Opening and closing ceremonies near slapstick chaos. No one minds. The press judge it the best Berlinale in years.

2003: Kosslick launches the Berlinale Talent Campus, a five-day film school for about 350 young filmmakers from around the world. Also finds his stride as festival MC with comedian/host Anke Engelke. Festival overshadowed by the Iraq War as celebrities use the Berlinale as a soapbox to protest the U.S. invasion. "Goodbye Lenin!" wins Silver Bear and goes on to become worldwide hit.

: The World Cinema Fund -- for financing films from developing countries -- and the Co-Production Market launch as part of Kosslick's response to industry needs. Fatih Akin's "Head-On" wins the Golden Bear and becomes the first German film to do so since "Stammheim" in 1986.

2005: Berlin's "alternative" sidebar, the Panorama, turns 20. The first World Cinema Fund film, "Paradise Now," debuts in competition and goes on to secure an Oscar nomination. "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days" follows it to the Oscars but South African musical "U-Carmen" is the surprise Golden Bear winner.

2006: With Mifed gone and AFM moved to November, the European Film Market explodes, nearly doubling in size from 165 to 264 companies attending. New German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the opening of the EFM at its new home, the Martin-Gropius-Bau, a first for a German leader.

Kosslick indulges his passion for food with the Culinary Cinema sidebar -- a new festival section devoted to food. The best chefs from Berlin and around the country line up to cook for fest guests. The increasingly popular children's film sidebar Kinderfilmfest is renamed Generation to acknowledge its all-ages appeal.

Dieter "I own a Fender Stratocaster" Kosslick achieves a childhood dream when Martin Scorsese and the Rolling Stones start it up with opening film "Shine a Light." Jury president Costa-Gavras suggests giving Kosslick a Golden Bear for his transformation of the Berlinale.

2009: Longtime Berlinale fan Tilda Swinton is jury president. Two World Cinema Fund films -- "The Milk of Sorrow" and "Gigante" -- win the Golden and Silver Bears. About 270,000 festivalgoers buy tickets to Berlin screenings -- a new record.