Home Entertainment Berlin Film Festival Launches New Competitive Section For Debut Films

Berlin Film Festival Launches New Competitive Section For Debut Films


The Berlin Film Festival is launching a new section called Perspectives, a competitive strand devoted to international fiction feature debuts.

The strand is being launched with an eye on strengthening the breadth of new talent at the festival, which will also discontinue its Encounters strand, first launched back in 2020 under the previous leadership.

The new stand-alone competition will include up to 14 fiction debuts from all over the world, with a jury of three deciding on the Best First Feature Award. The award is endowed with 50,000 euros, funded by GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten), a society dedicated to safeguarding film and TV rights. The prize money will be split between the producers and the directors of the winning film. 

Films selected for the competition will be curated by Festival Director Tricia Tuttle together with the Co-Directors of Film Programming and the section heads of Panorama, Forum and Generation. World premieres will be given preference, but films that have already premiered in their country of origin can also be considered at the discretion of the Festival Director.

Perspectives emerges from the Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale, run in partnership with GWFF since 2006. Previously nominations were embedded across all of the festival’s sections.

Fest head Tricia Tuttle commented: Perspectives will offer a more visible platform for exceptional emerging filmmakers from around the world. We are looking for features representing a genuinely international range of voices which have a bold and fluent cinematic language and offer arresting perspectives and new ways of seeing the world. I would like to thank the GWFF for their decades of support in our commitment to emerging filmmakers and for continuing to accompany us in the reorientation of the award.”

Dr. Gertraude Müller-Ernstberger, Managing director of GWFF said: “2025 will mark the 20th year of GWFF’s backing of debut feature filmmakers at the Berlinale, and I am very happy that the festival is finding a way to raise the profile of emerging filmmakers through the creation of a standalone competitive strand. GWFF is dedicated to supporting the next generation of talent and it’s our honour to continue our longstanding commitment as funder of the Best First Feature Award.”

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