Berlin film festival names Tricia Tuttle new head

The Berlinale film festival on Tuesday named Tricia Tuttle, the former head of the BFI London Film Festival, as its new director as it prepares for a slimmed-down 2024 edition.

Tuttle, 53, will take the reins from Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, who have co-led the festival for the last four years, from April 2024.

The Berlinale, which will run February 15-25, ranks with Cannes and Venice among Europe’s top three film festivals and serves as an early annual launchpad for the film industry.

German Culture Minister Claudia Roth, who led a committee in charge of the appointment, said Tuttle had impressed with her “very clear and very structured ideas about the artistic perspectives of the Berlinale”.

“She is absolutely the right choice for all of us to lead the Berlinale into a very successful future,” Roth said.

US-born Tuttle worked at the British Film Institute for 10 years, most recently as head of festivals.

She then joined the UK’s National Film and Television School where she taught in the directing department.

Tuttle said she had been attending the Berlinale since the late 1990s and had “so many brilliant memories of coming to the festival”, which she described as “a hugely important meeting place for the world’s film industry”.

“The Berlinale is an expression of this incredible city which is playful and spiky and passionate about art and ideas,” she said.

The Berlinale in July announced a “more focused” programme for 2024, citing cost increases.

The total number of films will be reduced to around 200, from 287 in 2023.

Rissenbeek and Chatrian have co-led the festival since 2020, navigating an online edition in 2021 and a hybrid version in 2022.

Roth announced in August that they would be replaced by a single director.

The Sueddeustche Zeitung newspaper said it hoped Tuttle would “bring a little more Hollywood glamour back to Berlin — urgently needed after lean years”.

Kenyan-Mexican actor Lupita Nyong’o will head up the jury at the 74th Berlinale, selecting the winners of the Golden and Silver Bear top prizes.


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