Celebrating Film and Supporting Ukraine
US Ambassador Gutmann hosts Berlinale ReceptionFebruary 21st, 2023
On February 21, Ambassador Gutmann hosted a reception at the Embassy Berlin to celebrate the Berlinale Film Festival, attended by a diverse intergenerational audience from Berlin’s cultural world, as well as 400 guests from the film industry. The reception was held in partnership with Studio Babelsberg, the Motion Picture Association (MPA), and Morrison & Foerster, with leaders from each organization delivering brief remarks.
Several prominent guests were in attendance, including Steven Spielberg, MPA CEO Charles Rivkin, German Federal State Minister for Culture Claudia Roth, and Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Oleksei Makeiev, who was the guest of honor.
In his remarks, Ambassador Gutmann emphasized the strong support of the US, Germany, and their allies for Ukraine in its ongoing struggle for freedom against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked aggression. He echoed President Biden’s statements in Kyiv and Warsaw, as well as the Vice President’s speech at the Munich Security Conference, and condemned Russia’s actions as “nothing short of crimes against humanity”. He also highlighted the Berlinale’s origins as a part of the Marshall Plan, created to promote free speech and expression after World War II.
Ambassador Makeiev expressed gratitude to the United States and Germany for their unwavering support for Ukraine, quoting President Biden’s statement that democracy must be fought for and is not accidental. He added, “we will fight for it!”. This year’s Berlinale was dedicated to Ukraine, with several Ukrainian filmmakers showcasing their work and President Zelensky delivering a virtual address during the world premiere of Sean Penn’s documentary Superpower on February 16.