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The upcoming Berlin Film Festival has announced it will go ahead as an in-person event, but will limit the amount of guests to 50% seating capacity and cancel any parties and receptions, citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Festival organizers also adjusted the dates of the event, with the 72nd Berlinale set to run only from February 10-16, instead of the full 11 days through February 20 as initially planned.

“Following recent decisions by the Federal Government and the Berlin Senate, the previously developed hygiene and security measures have been reviewed once again, so that the 2022 festival can be organized as an in-person 2G-plus event (additional masking and testing requirement),” the festival said in a statement on Wednesday.

The festival will take place across several Berlin theaters and accredited audiences will have a chance to see the films as well as meet the cast and crew. Guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19, as well as go through daily rapid testing and fulfill mask requirements in order to attend the events. The awards ceremony will be held on February 16.

Germany’s State Minister for Culture and Media, Claudia Roth, said: “We want to make the Berlinale possible, and according to current deliberations, we can achieve this. We want the festival to send a signal to the entire film industry, to cinemas and moviegoers, and to culture as a whole. We need cinema, we need culture. Of course, in today’s times, this can only be managed with some painful cuts and with constant vigilance. The pandemic situation is dynamic, and the Berlinale is adapting to the resulting challenges.”

Meanwhile, the European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market, Berlinale Talents and World Cinema Fund will all take place online this year. 

“The high frequency of face-to-face encounters in regular market trading is not feasible at the moment. So, we are relying on our digital offers, which already proved their worth for the trade-fair business ‘on remote’ last year,” said Dennis Ruh, director of the European Film Market.


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