PR 27.08.2020: No short films for young audiences at the 71st Berlinale 2021 - Open letter to the directors of Berlinale

Dear Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian,

The 71. Berlin International Film Festival is scheduled to take place in 2021. First decisions for the festival have been made. In 2021 NO SHORT FILMS will be shown in the GENERATION section.

Every festival director currently faces the task of making difficult decisions. We respect that. Nevertheless, we deeply regret this decision taken by the world's largest audience festival and are concerned about the message it sends and its consequences.

The cancellation of an entire platform for the short form at the Berlinale signifies the failure to address various target groups at once: audience and industry. For more than 40 years, GENERATION has been inspiring young audiences with its selection of short and feature films, introducing them to a richly diverse and artistic cinema.

A large number of the films selected at GENERATION find international distributors and sales agents, TV stations and festivals through the Berlinale's high-profile seal of approval. There are very few A-film festivals in the world that place so much emphasis on children and youth, and therefore on the audience of tomorrow.

We hope that the decision will be reconsidered, that the Berlinale will live up to its pioneering role and that the short form will also be presented to young audiences in 2021.


With cineastic greetings,

  •  AG Kurzfilm - German Short Film Association
  • AG Dok (German association of documentary filmmakers)
  • Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit (German Association of Municipal and Cultural Cinemas)
  • Crew United
  • Directors Gild of Germany (BVR)
  • HVC Hauptverband Cinephilie (cinephilie association of Germany)
  • MAGNETFILM GmbH (sales, distribution) Georg Gruber
  • Vision Kino - Network for Film and Media Competences
  • ZDF / ARTE, Dr. Catherine Colas

  • Agencia Audiovisual Freak, SL, Millan Vazquez-Ortiz, Spain
  • Agencia – Portuguese Short Film Agency, Salette Ramalho
  • Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgarian National Film Center
  • Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC)
  • Curtas Vila do Conde - International Film Festival, Portugal
  • Czech Film Center
  • Estonian Film Institute, Peter Murdmaa
  • EYE Film Museum, Netherlands
  • FiDAN – Iranian Short Film Magazine and Distribution
  • Film Centre Of Montenegro
  • Filmlab: Palestine
  • Finnish Film Foundation, Otto Suuronen
  • Greek Film Centre
  • Icelandic Film Centre, Christof Wehmeier
  • IndieLisboa – International Film Festival, Miguel Valverde, director, Portugal
  • Iranian Short Film Association (ISFA)
  • Kapitein Kort Distribution, Hidde de Vries, Netherlands
  • KLIK distribution, Ursula van den Heuvel, Netherlands
  • LEMONADE FILMS (Festival Distribution), Marija Milovanovic, Austria
  • Lithuanian Short Film Agency "Lithuanian Shorts", Rimante Daugelaite
  • Marvin&Wayne Short Film Distribution, Spain
  • Miyu Distribution, Luce Grosjean, France
  • National Film Institute, Hungary
  • Network Ireland Television, Derry O’Brien
  • New Europe Film Sales, Marcin Łuczaj, Poland
  • North Macedonia Film Agency
  • Norwegian Film Institute, Toril Simonsen, Arna Marie Bersaas
  • Ouat Media, Inga Diev, Canada
  • Portugal Film – Portuguese Film Agency, Margarida Moz, director/programmer
  • SEE NL, Netherlands
  • Short Film Conference (International Short Film Association), the board
  • Slovak Film Institute
  • SND Films, Sydney Neter, Netherlands
  • Square Eyes Film (Festival Distribution), Wouter Jansen, Netherlands
  • Swedish Film Institute, Jing Haase
  • Tampere Film Festival, Jukka-Pekka Laakso, festival director, Finland
  • Turku Animated Film Festival, Kimmo Sillanmikko, festival director, Finland

Additional supporters:
  • AG Animationsfilm
  • Cineport International Media, Iran
  • European Children's Film Association
  • Filmfest Hamburg
  • FLATPACK Festival, UK
  • Italian Short Film Center
  • L'agence du court métrage, France
  • Lithuanian Film Centre
  • Shorts TV
  • Slovenian Film Centre
  • Torino Short Film Market
  • T-Port
  • Unifrance