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Since May 2001 the creative direction and management of the Berlin International Film Festival have been the responsibility of Dieter Kosslick.
Born in Pforzheim on May 30, 1948, Dieter Kosslick studied Communication, Politics and Education in Munich. After receiving his Masters degree, he stayed on at the university in the Bavarian capital as a research assistant before moving to Hamburg in 1979 to work as speechwriter and office administrator for the First Mayor Hans Ulrich Klose and later as press spokesman for the "women's equality" unit. He left this position in 1982 to work as a journalist for the magazine "Konkret".
In 1983, he became involved in film funding, firstly as managing director of Hamburg's cultural film fund (Hamburg Film Office). In 1986 he founded the European Low Budget Forum with the cinema "Kino auf der Alster". In 1988 he became managing director of the city's economic film fund (Hamburg Film Fund). The same year, he was a co-founder of EFDO (European Film Distribution Office) and became the president of this European organisation, a post he held until EFDO's dissolution in 1996.
In 1992 the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia and WDR managed to get Dieter Kosslick to come from Hamburg to the Rhine to head up the barely one year-old Filmstiftung NRW as its executive director. During his nine years in office North-Rhine-Westphalia became the leading German film site and established itself internationally as an important film region.
In July 2000 the Land of Berlin and the Federal Government of Germany appointed him director of Germanys prestigious Berlin International Film Festival in 2001. Dieter Kosslick took up his new position in the capital as head of the Berlinale on May 1, 2001.
Dieter Kosslick has received many honours and awards for the diverse ways in which he has promoted film and culture. He carries the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit) and the order of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres". In the year 2006 he was awarded the "Chevalier dans l'Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur" by the French ambassador and on nomination by the president of the republic. Additionally, Dieter Kosslick has been presented with the "Golden Screen” from the Central Association of German Cinemas and the "Schwarzkopf Europe Prize" for "the European of the year 2006" from the Heinz Schwarzkopf Foundation. Especially for his initiative that thematically linked film, culinary art and food politics, he received the Eckart Witzigmann Award in 2006. In March 2007 he received the Helmut Käutner Prize in Düsseldorf.
by Birgit Heidsiek