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71st Berlinale

Berlin, Germany, February 11 to 21, 2021


(Features-length films of 60+ minutes: all genres)


Telefilm Canada is currently accepting Canadian entries on behalf of the Berlinale for the selection screenings of feature films to be held in Berlin.

Each year, Telefilm Canada invites programmers of the selection committee of the Berlinale to screen Canadian features in a theater in Montréal. Unfortunately, this year the programmers are unable to travel so the screenings will be held in Berlin.

Open to narratives and documentaries feature-length films of 60+ minutes.

Note that short films need be submitted directly to the festival and via its website.

The Festival waives its entry fees for films presented at the Selection Screenings in Berlin or entered via Telefilm Canada.



The Berlinale, along with Cannes and Venice, counts as one of the oldest and most important competitive festivals in the world. It is also a public festival selling more than 332,000 tickets to the city’s cinephiles.

Every year, the Festival presents about 400 films, including some 100 short films, the vast majority of which are world or European premieres. The Berlinale is a very dynamic, cosmopolitan and full-service film festival with many elements that are of significant interest to the Canadian film industry and filmmakers. For 2021, adjustments in the festival structure, the film programming and the total number of invited films will be defined by the festival management as the current situation evolves.

In 2020, 18,518 visiting professionals from 132 countries — including 3,447 journalists — attended the Festival.


Festival Sections and Sidebars open to Canadian films

New Canadian films are eligible for consideration in different sections of the Berlinale, each with its own unique profile.

Official Competition
In recent years, Canada has often presented films in this prestigious section including Ghost Town Anthology (Répertoire des villes disparues) by the director Denis Côté in 2019.
In 2021, the International Jury will award prizes in a gender-neutral way. Instead of the awards for the Best Actor and the Best Actress, a “Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance” and a “Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance” shall each be awarded on a gender-neutral basis.

Encounters is new section aiming to foster aesthetically and structurally daring works from independent, innovative filmmakers. Its goal is to support new perspectives in cinema and to give more room to diverse narrative and documentary forms in the official selection.

This program strives to showcase world, international and European premieres of independent and art-house productions.
In 2017, Sylvain L’Espérance’s documentary, Combat au bout de la nuit, was selected.

Generation features films for children and a young audience. No short films will be presented in 2021.
Last year, Pompei by John Shank and Anna Falguères was presented in this section as well as many short films.

Forum presents films that beat a new, unconventional path in filmmaking.

Berlinale Shorts
The Short Film Competition proposes an eclectic selection that explores the trends of the genre.
The Spirit Keepers of Makuta’ay by Yen-Chao Lin was selected in this section in 2019 as well as The Crying Conch (Le cri du lambi) by Vincent Toi in 2017.

Berlinale Special and Gala Special
The festival honours great cinema personalities and immerses audiences in cinematic history with these two programmes.
In 2017, Maudie by Aisling Walsh was selected in Berlinale Special. In 2019, Jennifer Baichwal & Edward Burtynsky were invited to present Anthropocene in this section and in 2020 Philippe Falardeau presented My Salinger Year.


Eligibility criteria

The films presented at the Canadian Selection Screenings in must meet the following criteria:

  • Films must be completed in the 12 months preceding the festival;
  • Running time: 60+ minutes;
  • Films may not have been released commercially, nor telecast or webcast, outside their country of origin or in Europe;
  • Films must be:
  • World premieres (Official Competition);
  • International premieres (Encounters)
  • World, International or European premieres (for sections Panorama, Forum and Generation);
  • French language films must be subtitled in English at the moment of the submission;
  • Short films need be submitted directly to the festival.


Your image editing should be final. The programmers are used to viewing work at the post-production stage (i.e. with no color timing, no final mix, etc.) and, as such, know how to “fill in the technical gaps.”


Registering your film with Telefilm Canada
  • Complete the Telefilm application;
  • Accepted formats for the screenings in Berlin: downloadable screening link; (Vimeo is preferred)
  • Once your application has been approved you will receive a waiver code
  • Complete the Berlinale application. Deadline October 2, 2020
  • Decision letters will be sent by the Festival


Your contacts at Telefilm Canada

 If you have any questions regarding the festival, please contact Ann-Marie Picard (468 469-1242) or Marie-Claude Giroux (438 469-1180) or 1 800 567-0890.

If you have any questions about the application process or your screener, you may contact Myriam Blais.


Promotion and Communications
Telefilm Canada, Montréal
1 800 567-0890