EXCLUSIVE: Organizers of the Berlin Film Festival have told us that the world premiere screening of opening film Peter Von Kant was disrupted last night due to “a server problem.”
A festival spokesperson told us: “We very much regret that a server problem at the Berlinale Palast led to an interruption of the screening of Peter Von Kant. After 7 minutes of interruption the screening could be continued.”
The screen blacked out twice in quick succession during last night’s world premiere leading to audible frustration among guests. Reports are that the delay was closer to 10-15 minutes. Following the interruption, the movie played through to its end.
After the premiere, one of the hosts for the night took to the stage to apologize to guests. The film’s star Denis Menochet also thanked cinema-goers for their patience.
It has been a bumpy start for the festival. Covid protocols outside the venue last night meant that the opening ceremony was delayed. As we revealed last night, the film’s co-star and most famous name Isabelle Adjani was unable to attend due to being a close Covid contact.
We can also reveal that veteran German actress Hanna Schygulla, who has a supporting role in the film, decided not to travel from Paris for the premiere due to concern about potentially contracting Covid.
In a message sent to us, the actress said: “Omicron is at its peak in Berlin and I am a person at risk. I‘d be paranoid about getting infected and therefore would not enjoy being there. I am well now and would rather stay like that.”
The iconic German New Wave star is well known for her collaborations with legendary local filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including in The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant (1972), which is the inspiration for Peter Von Kant.
There has been concern among some local press in Germany about the festival going ahead due to the country experiencing a peak in the Omicron variant.
Festival co-head Marietta Rissenbeek told the audience last night: “The current situation has been a challenge, but when I talk to filmmakers I know how important it is that their films reach out to people and they hear the feedback – it gives us courage and encouragement to move on.”
She continued: “It was so important that people could come together, that people could experience film and culture together, so we decided to press ahead. We are delighted that almost all of the film teams have been able to be with us, a clear sign of the significance of being present at an event like this, filmmakers have gone to a lot of trouble to be with us this week.”
However, the punches kept coming for the festival in its first 24 hours as our sister publication Variety reported this morning that an EFM studio used to shoot many of its virtual events suffered a break in on Thursday night resulting in equipment being stolen and the planned shoots having to reroute elsewhere. Better news came overnight from us that the EFM (virtual this year) can celebrate its biggest ever deal after Sony stumped up around $60M for Tom Hanks market project A Man Called Otto.
This was never going to be an easy festival given the context, but organizers will be hoping that after a turbulent first 24 hours things calm down over the weekend.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.