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Festive Opening of the Berlinale 2023 with Digital Livestream of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky


On February 16, the start of the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival will be celebrated in the Berlinale Palast. Minister of State for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth, Governing Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey, this year’s Jury President Kristen Stewart, as well as the Festival Management Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian will kick off the Berlinale with a festive opening.

“The Berlinale, along with all filmmakers and participants, expresses solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their fight for its independence and strongly condemns the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the victims, the suffering population, the millions who left Ukraine and the artists that have remained defending the country and continue filming the war. It is a special honour for us to be able to welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky digitally on Thursday evening at the opening of our festival,” say Berlinale directors Mariëtte Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian.

After an introduction on stage by director and actor Sean Penn (Superpower), there will be a live video stream with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During the Opening Gala, the International Jury will be introduced. Hadnet Tesfai and Jo Schück will be the hosts of the evening.

The event will be broadcast on ZDF/3sat from 7.20 pm and streamed live on and its YouTube channel.

The opening film, the world premiere of Rebecca Miller’s She Came to Me, which will be screened as Berlinale Special Gala, will be shown directly after. The director and her film team — Anne Hathaway, Marisa Tomei, Peter Dinklage, Joanna Kulig, Evan Ellison, Damon Cardasis, Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon — will introduce the film in the Berlinale Palast.

In addition to the members of the International Jury, the Encounters jury, the GWFF Best First Feature Award jury, the jury of the Berlinale Documentary Award as well as members of the International Short Film Jury are expected on the Red Carpet.

A number of prominent German and international politicians and ambassadors have also announced their attendance.

List (229 KB) of international and national guests expected at the opening.

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