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Berlin Festival Signs Gender-Parity Pledge, Touts Strong History With Women Filmmakers

Berlin Film Festival director Dieter Kosslick on Saturday signed the gender-parity pledge aimed at achieving an even gender ratio in the organization’s top management, something Berlin has already well surpassed.

Opening the Gender, Genre and Big Budgets event hosted by Women in Film and Television Germany and the Dortmund Cologne Intl. Women’s Film Festival, Kosslick touted the Berlinale’s already strong record not only with the number of films from female directors but also the large number of women in top positions in the festival’s various sections.

Pointing to this year’s overall lineup, Kosslick said the Berlinale had more films from women than the actual applications from female filmmakers that it had received.

“This is something that we are responsible for,” he added.

Kosslick noted that the gender ratio of the Berlinale’s directorial positions in its 15 different segments, including festival sections, initiatives and special series, was 63% female to 36% male. In addition, the fest’s main selection committee responsible for choosing the competition lineup as well as films for other sections is 82.25% female and 18.75% male.

“The result is that this year was exceptional,” Kosslick said, stressing that seven out of the 17 films in competition were from female directors – a first in the history of the Berlinale.

First introduced in Cannes last year, the charter, also known as the 5050×2020 pledge, also aims to compile gender-based statistics on the films submitted and selected for participation, something the Berlinale recently published.

The Toronto, Venice, Locarno and Sarajevo festivals have also signed the agreement.

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