BERLIN • Film festival director Carlo Chatrian and movie industry executive Mariette Rissenbeek were announced as the new leaders of the Berlin Film Festival for 2020.
Berlin authorities said in a statement last Friday that Mr Chatrian will take up the role of artistic director, while Ms Rissenbeek will hold the newly created position of managing director for the festival, which is more commonly known as the Berlinale.
"With our two new directors, we will make sure the Berlinale will continue beyond 2019 - the last year under Mr Dieter Kosslick's direction - to be an audience-oriented festival with a political focus and an ambitious film programme, while continuing to evolve," said Germany's Culture Minister Monika Gruetters.
Italy-born Chatrian is director of the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, a position he has held since 2013.
He will bring his expertise in curating an arthouse film festival and experience in uncovering new talent, said Berlin's cultural authorities.
Ms Rissenbeek, who was born in the Netherlands, was the former managing director of film production body German Films. She will be the first woman to head one of Europe's top film festivals.
The appointment follows an announcement last year that Mr Kosslick, who has led the festival since 2001, will not seek renewal of his contract when it expires in May next year.
Mr Kosslick, 70, is credited with sharply boosting the international profile of the Berlinale since taking over the reins in 2001. He had been winning fans with his quirky humour and stellar connections in Hollywood.
He said it was "problematic" that in the history of the A-list festivals since World War II, including Cannes, Venice and Berlin, none had been helmed by a female chief.
This year's festival, which opened in February with a screening of Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs, was marred by a debate about its direction under Mr Kosslick.
In recent years, the sprawling festival, which takes over the German capital for 10 days, has drawn criticism for lacking the prestige of the other two major European festivals, Cannes and Venice.
In an open letter last year, 79 members of the German film industry called for a "new start" at the festival when Mr Kosslick's contract expires.
"The change in leadership offers the opportunity to renew and purify the festival's programme," the letter read.
Mr Chatrian and Ms Rissenbeek will take up their positions in 2020 after shadowing the current festival leadership team for the 2019 edition.
NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE