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Berlin Film Festival To Adopt Gender Neutral Performance Awards

The Berlin Intl. Film Festival has announced that its performance awards will be gender-neutral for next year’s edition. 

Instead of awards for the best actor and actress, Silver Bears will be awarded for best leading performance and best supporting performance, the festival said.

“We believe that not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry,” festival directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said in a joint statement.

According to ‘Variety’, the event’s management also announced that its 71st edition, running Feb. 11-21, will be a physical event, although a hybrid model is planned for the European Film Market, which runs Feb. 11-18 in Berlin.

Commenting on the decision to stage a physical event, the festival bosses said: “Festivals and markets are places of encounter and communication. This applies to the public as well as to the industry. We see an important and unique feature of festivals in their lively relationship with the audience. In times of the corona pandemic, it has become even clearer that we still require analogue experience spaces in the cultural realm.”

Full details on the changes to the festival’s structure and programming, including the number of invited films, will be decided “by the festival management within the coming weeks,” the festival said. 

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