In an open letter to Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick and German culture and media commissioner Monika Grütters, 160 independent exhibitors are calling for Isabel Coixet’s competition film “Elisa y Marcela” to be shown out of competition.
The demand was echoed by the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE).
“Should the film be released on a streaming platform without having been through a theatrical release, it could mean that the competition of the Berlinale would – like earlier the Mostra de Venise, in contrast to the Festival de Cannes – [would be] open to a company that boycotts the international agreements related to the release windows of films,” CICAE said in a statement.
“Either the Berlinale is a film festival and shows only works destined for the cinema or it’s not a film festival anymore and is on its way of becoming a TV or platform festival,” said CICAE president Detlef Rossmann.
The organization added that the Berlinale was a publicly funded festival “and its competition should be reserved exclusively to films that will have a regular theatrical release.”
That is the only way to ensure “works of film art get can be admired on the big screen and can serve to enrich the public discourse,” the CICAE said, noting that its demands correspond to Grütters’ own statements on the issue.
The Berlinale has yet to comment on the demands by the arthouse exhibs.