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Berlin Film Festival taking place in person despite rising COVID cases

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BERLIN – The Berlin International Film Festival will be held in person next month, despite a growing number of viruses in Germany, especially in the capital, organizers said Wednesday.

“We are aware of the challenges posed by the unpredictable direction of the pandemic,” the festival management said in a statement, adding that strict pandemic measures will be applied to the 72nd edition of one of the world’s most popular film festivals.

“We want the festival to signal to the entire film industry, cinemas and cinema audiences and culture in general – we need cinema, we need culture,” said Claudia Roth, Germany’s Minister of State for Culture and Media.

“Of course, today it can only be managed with painful cutting and constant vigilance,” he added. “The pandemic situation is dynamic and the Berlin Film Festival is adapting to the challenges it faces.”

Only people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have recently recovered from the infection can enter the festival grounds.

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In addition, quick tests and masks are required every day for everyone who visits. Visits to the cinema are reduced to 50% capacity, and all banquets and banquets – usually an important event of the film festival – are canceled.

Last year’s film festival was revived due to the virus and split into two parts – one for the industry and the other for showing films in the summer.

The opening is still scheduled for February 10, and the awards will be presented on February 16, shortly before they were originally planned, the German news agency dpa reported.

The opening film of the festival will be “Peter von Kant” by French filmmaker and screenwriter François Ozone. The film is a free interpretation of Rayner Werner Fassbinder’s “Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant”.

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The film, starring Denis Menochet, Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Shigulla, is part of the festival’s international competition, which will premiere worldwide on February 10, organizers said.

The jury of the festival will be headed by American film director M.Nyt Shyamalan, and French actress Isabelle Yupper will be awarded the “Honorary Golden Bear” for her lifelong achievements.

“Huppert is one of the most versatile actors in the world, starring in more than 150 films and television shows,” said the festival’s management.

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