The Berlinale is the only major festival to sell tickets for all of its featured films to the public
Berlin authorities on Friday named a duo, including the director of the Locarno film festival, to jointly lead the Berlinale from 2020, taking over from long-time chief Dieter Kosslick.
Carlo Chatrian, who has directed the Swiss festival since 2013, is appointed artistic director of the German capital's annual cinema showcase.
Mariette Rissenbeek, who has headed Germany's film promotion office, will take over as managing director at the Berlinale.
"With our two new directors, we will make sure that the Berlinale will continue beyond 2019 - the last year under Dieter Kosslick’s direction - to be an audience-oriented festival with a political focus and an ambitious film programme, while continuing to evolve," said Germany's Culture Minister Monika Gruetters.
Chatrian will bring his expertise in curating an arthouse film festival and experience in uncovering new talent, said Berlin's cultural authorities.
Rissenbeek, meanwhile, has a strong network in the film circuit, they added. She also becomes the first woman to head one of Europe's top film festivals.
Kosslick, 70, is credited with sharply boosting the international profile of the Berlinale since he took the reins in 2001, winning fans for his quirky humour and stellar connections in Hollywood.
The Berlinale is the only major festival to sell tickets for all of its featured films to the public.
Kosslick had said in an interview with AFP that it was "problematic" that in the history of the A-list festivals since World War II, including Cannes, Venice and Berlin, none had had a female chief.
"I think it is our duty as cultural institutions to stand up for equality," said Kosslick, whose contract ends in May 2019.