Berlinale rebrands the Alfred Bauer Prize, following revelations about the festival's first director activities under the Nazis

The Berlinale Commissions Historical Expertise on Alfred Bauer and Awards a Special Prize for its 70th Anniversary

In response to the recently published sources on the role of Alfred Bauer, the first director of the Berlin International Film Festival, in National Socialist film politics, the Berlinale has suspended the Silver Bear - Alfred Bauer Prize with immediate effect. Bauer was a film historian who ran the Berlinale from its start in 1951 through 1976. Since his death in 1986, Berlin has awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize in his honour, recognizing works that "open new perspectives on cinematic art." 


Current newspaper reports, firstly published by German newspaper Die Zeit, suggest that Alfred Bauer had played a previously unknown role in the Nazi film bureaucracy. Documents from the early 1940s indicate the "film historian" was an active and enthusiastic member of the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler and was a high-ranking member of the Reichsfilmintendanz, the film division of the Nazis' propaganda ministry. 


We are convinced that an external and independent group of historians should investigate Alfred Bauer’s position in the Nazi regime. Moreover, we also agree on this with the Deutsche Kinemathek, which supports this approach. Accordingly, we are pleased that the IfZ can now initiate the necessary research work”, says Berlinale Executive Director Mariette Rissenbeek. The results of the IfZ assessment are expected in this coming summer.


On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the festival, the Berlinale 2020 will award a special prize: The Silver Bear - 70th Berlinale. It will similarly be awarded by the International Jury.


The 70th Berlin International Film Festival will be held from February 20th to March 01, 2020.

© Berlinale press