Cinema, Culture and Kosslick – An Interview with "Mr. Berlinale"

The 68th bear hunt – spotlight on the world’s largest public film festival! Once again this year, the Berlinale is bringing an extra dose of glitz and glamour to the capital city. Every February, when the glittering stars are on the red carpet in front of the Berlinale Palace theatre and thousands of film enthusiasts stream into the movie theatres of the metropolis on the Spree, wintry grey Berlin transforms into a cinematic Eldorado of international radiance.

As "Official Supplier" to the Berlinale, Rolf Benz and its interior team have stylishly furnished selected festival locations. The lounge areas in the Potsdamer Platz arcades, for example, or the Berlinale VIP Club, also known as "Dieter Kosslick’s living room", where the long-standing festival director personally greets the competition teams prior to the press conferences.

We talked to the Berlinale boss about his new "living room" and the beneficial effects of high-quality furniture design.

The days during the Berlinale film festival are very stressful. Where do you go to get some rest?

In the Berlinale VIP Club, where we meet the film teams, things are often hectic and nerves are on edge. I’ve got a small, separate office there with a sofa. That’s where I sit and concentrate on the next meeting and the walk to the press conference. However, we attach great importance to a relaxing and friendly atmosphere even in the VIP Club itself. After all, the film teams should feel good with us even during frantic moments. An elegant and high-quality interior can be very useful.

What happens in the Berlinale VIP Club, also known as "Dieter’s living room"?

The VIP Club leads to the photo call, where actors and directors present themselves to international photographers. We then ask our guests to continue to the press conference. The journalists have already seen the relevant film beforehand and every now and then they ask critical questions in some way or another. These are all very exciting and emotional moments for the film teams. This makes it all the more important for them to relax as much as possible in the Berlinale VIP Club, take a breather over a good cup of coffee and enjoy the stylish ambience.

Which characteristics should the "Berlinale living room" fulfil in your point of view?

The "living room" should be inviting on the one hand – based on the theme of welcome to Berlin and the Berlinale. The furniture should be functional and comfortable but also give off an international flair. Our new festival partner Rolf Benz has succeeded in designing this year’s Berlinale VIP Club exactly in this way.

You originally come from Pforzheim in Baden-Württemberg. Do you have a special connection with the ROLF BENZ brand and the "Made in Nagold" furniture?

Rolf Benz was always a well-known name back then – a success story from the Black Forest. For us, furniture from Rolf Benz always stood for high quality, good design, and German craftsmanship. It’s great that this still applies today.

Where do you live and do you have a favourite piece of furniture in your home?

I have a few vintage chairs, design classics from Arne Jacobson and Egon Eiermann. They aren't just functional, they are super comfortable as well. Just like the furniture from Rolf Benz, actually.

Cinematic Art Meets Design Culture

Almost 380 films from all over the world are presented at the Berlinale festival between the 15th and 25th February. Around twenty preselected national and international contributions have the chance of winning the Gold and Silver bears. The coveted trophies are highly regarded and count as hard currency in the international film sector. This year’s "guardian of the currency" is no less than cult director Tom Tykwer, who acts as guarantor of the quality of the competition as Jury President.

With Rolf Benz as "Official Supplier" to the Berlinale, the expectations of high quality in the prestigious film festival are now also reflected in its furniture design. The Rolf Benz TONDO and NUVOLA sofa ranges among others, which have won several design awards, make a film-worthy appearance. It’s just a shame that you can’t take the comfy sofas with you into the cinema.