In a short but dramatic letter, 79 German directors demanded that the Berlinale "be renewed in its content and be purged.”
The letter calls for a leadership overhaul, stating that the next head of the festival must be “an exemplary curator who has a passion for cinema, and who has the best connections across the globe."
The new festival head should “put the Berlinale on an equal footing with Cannes and Venice,” the letter states.
The current Berlinale head Dieter Kosslick has a contract until 2019, and the letter is a clear signal that some of the biggest names in German cinema are far from happy with direction he has taken the festival in.
Spiegel reports that Kosslick has become a figure of ridicule in film circles for turning down films for the main "golden Bear" competition that then went on to win some of the most prestigious prizes in cinema. During Kosslick's time in charge, the Berlinale has lost importance in comparison with the Cannes and Venice film festivals, the newspaper notes.
Signatures of the letter include some of the most renowned directors in Germany, including Maren Ade, Fatih Akin, Doris Dörrie, Andreas Dresen, Dominik Graf, Barbara Klemm, Caroline Link and Christian Petzold.