The co-director of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek, is leaving the Berlin International Film Festival in 2024. This was announced by the supervisory board of the federal cultural events in Berlin after its meeting on Thursday. Alongside Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale is one of the major film festivals.

Rissenbeek (66) does not want to extend her contract, which runs until the end of March 2024. “When she reaches retirement age, Ms. Rissenbeek would like to devote herself to new topics and tasks,” it said in a statement.

Until 2024

Rissenbeek will prepare and implement the 74th Berlinale 2024 together with the artistic director Carlo Chatrian. Talks are to be held with Chatrian about a contract extension. The supervisory board has commissioned the chair of the panel, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens), to speak to Chatrian.

The governance structure of the Berlinale should also be evaluated. With Rissenbeek and Chatrian there was a dual leadership, previously the Berlinale was managed by Dieter Kosslick alone. Both variants are therefore conceivable in the future.

Roth regretted Rissenbeek’s decision in a statement. “The decision to actively initiate a generational change from a prominent position deserves the utmost respect.” Rissenbeek made a great contribution to the Berlinale, especially during the years of the corona pandemic. “The fact that the festival was able to take place every year despite all the restrictions is thanks to their tireless work.”

The Dutchwoman Rissenbeek and the Italian Chatrian (51) took over the management of the festival in the summer of 2019. The two share the tasks – she is managing director, he artistic director.

In winter, the two had kept a low profile about their professional future. Rissenbeek had told the dpa: “First of all, we want to really experience the next Berlinale.” The festival then took place in February.

Berlinale under the sign of the pandemic

Rissenbeek and Chatrian are the successors of long-time festival director Dieter Kosslick. After its first festival edition in 2020, the pandemic had brought many things to a standstill. In 2021 the festival was divided into a digital part and a later summer festival. In 2022, there were still restrictions on seating capacity and the obligation to wear a mask.

The Berlinale this year took place again without restrictions. Hollywood stars such as Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Matt Damon were guests. Around 320,000 tickets were sold. The documentary “Sur l’Adamant” won the Golden Bear.