Around the World in 14 Films festival director Bernhard Karl on bringing diverse voices, artistic global films to Berlin


Bernhard Karl – (c) Bernhard Schmidt

“I am not the story-based guy, I’m German,” said Bernhard Karl, festival director of Around the World in 14 Films, with a laugh. “I know that English-speaking people or American culture really is concentrated on stories. For me, it is an artistic choice.”

Karl said he always strives to showcase both the best and most diverse voices in Around the World in 14 Films, a festival now in its 12th year. “This festival, and all the film festivals which take themselves seriously, should really take as the main idea, the main philosophy of their enterprise, one thing: that’s the dialogue of cultures.”

Marlene Melchior speaks with Karl about this year’s most important films and the recurring theme he sees in them, and how he strives to bring artistic cinema from around the globe to Berlin.


Film Still from Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait, directed by R. Kyentse Norbu. © Tsong Tsong Ma Production.

Photo of Bernhard Karl by Bernhard Schmidt.