Carlo Chatrian, artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, will take over as head of the Berlin International Film Festival, according to multiple reports in the German media.
Chatrian, 46, will replace the outgoing Dieter Kosslick, who will step down as director of the Berlinale following next year’s festival. The German cultural ministry, which is set to announce Kosslick’s replacement on Friday in Berlin, declined to comment on the reports.
if Chatrian is appointed, it is unclear whether he would take over as director of the Berlinale or in a newly created artistic director position. Kosslick is both artistic and commercial director of the Berlinale, but it has been suggested the fest might look to split the job between two candidates.
There has also been widespread speculation that the cultural ministry would appoint a woman to the top post. Two names that have been mentioned are Bettina Reitz, president of the HFF film school, and Kirsten Niehuus, currently managing director of state subsidy group Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
Chatrian, who has been cultural director at Locarno since 2012, is well respected in the industry and would silence many critics who saw Kosslick as lacking sufficient art house credentials. Under his tenure at Locarno, Chatrain has shepherded such talents as Hong Sang-soo, Lav Diaz and Albert Serra.
But the Berlinale, with some 400 international and European premieres, is a monster compared to the sleepy Locarno fest, and any director will also have to handle the industry demands that come with Berlin’s European Film Market, which runs alongside the festival.
Kosslick has been director of the Berlinale since 2001 and has overseen its expansion to become, behind Cannes, the world’s most important international film festival and film market. It is also, with more than 500,000 admissions per year, the world’s largest public film fest.