The personal is political was the powerful motto of the 69th Berlinale, with outgoing festival director Dieter Kosslick borrowing it from the 1960s feminist movement. The breakup of traditional family structures, childhood, gender equality and nutrition represented the key themes that were woven through the festival’s programme and its competition.
Already before the grand opening Kosslick made headlines by following the festivals in Venice, Cannes, Locarno and Sarajevo in signing the Gender Parity Pledge. The pledge commits to an even gender ratio in festival management, and improving transparency around selection processes by publicly listing the members of its selection and programming committees.
Although the pledge does not directly include mandatory quotas for female directors, out of the the 400 films screened at the 69th Berlinale, 191 or almost half were indeed directed by women. This is surely a significant achievement when compared with recent editions of the other major European film festivals.