Berlinale Introduces “Perspectives” Competition for Global Fiction Debuts

Short Summary:

The Berlinale introduces Perspectives, a new international competition for fiction feature debuts, enhancing the festival’s focus on emerging filmmakers. Up to 14 films from around the world will compete, with a jury awarding a €50,000 Best First Feature prize, funded by GWFF. This new strand emerges from the Best First Feature Award,

The Berlinale is set to launch Perspectives, a new international competition designed to showcase fiction feature debuts from emerging filmmakers. This initiative aims to strengthen the festival's focus on new talent, offering a distinct platform for up to 14 debut films from across the globe.

The competition will culminate in the Best First Feature Award, with a jury of three deciding the winner. The award, endowed with €50,000, is funded by the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), an organization dedicated to protecting film and television rights. The prize money will be shared between the producers and directors of the winning film.

Perspectives is an evolution of the Best First Feature Award, which has been part of the Berlinale since 2006. Previously, nominations were spread across various festival sections. The new competition strand will bring these films together, enhancing their visibility and impact within the festival.

Tricia Tuttle, commenting on the new competition, stated: “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, expressed her enthusiasm: “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.”

The selection process for the Perspectives competition will be curated by the Festival Director in collaboration with the Co-Directors of Film Programming and the heads of the Panorama, Forum, and Generation sections. While world premieres will be prioritized, films that have premiered in their country of origin may also be considered at the discretion of the Festival Director.

Continuing its tradition of supporting up-and-coming filmmakers, the Berlinale will maintain the presentation of feature film debuts across its various sections. Despite the discontinuation of the Encounters section, the festival remains committed to profiling aesthetically and structurally daring works from independent filmmakers within its diverse program.