Mariëtte Rissenbeek, who heads over the Berlin International Film Festival along with Carlo Chatrian, has decided to step down after next year’s edition.
Rissenbeek’s contract expires in March 2024, and she has opted to not renew it, according to the German culture ministry, which is the main financier of the festival.
German Culture Minister Claudia Roth said she regretted Rissenbeek’s decision, but praised her for prompting a “generational change” within the leadership of the cultural institution.
Rissenbeek, an industry veteran who previously worked as managing director of promotion agency German Films, has reached retirement age in Germany (at 67). The executive will step down after the 74th edition of the festival which she’s due to prepare with Chatrian.
Rissenbeek has formed a dynamic duo with former Locarno festival boss Chatrian since being appointed at the helm of the Berlinale in 2018, succeeding to Dieter Kosslick. The pair just rolled off its first fully in person edition since 2020. The buzzy lineup included “Kiss the Future,” a documentary about the band U2’s relationship with war-torn Sarajevo in the 1990’s which was produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon; “Golda” starring Helen Mirren as the former prime minister of Israel, and an honorary tribute to Steven Spielberg for “The Fabelmans.” Kristen Stewart presided over the jury.
Chatrian, who’s expected to renew his contract beyond 2024, told Variety that he was “very happy with the collaboration we had and still have on a personal and professional level.”
Rissenbeek has also played a major role in enlisting high profile sponsors to the festival, notably Armani Beauty and Uber which became the principal partners of the Berlinale this year.