Berlin International Film Festival has decided that its performance awards will be gender-neutral for the next year’s edition. It has also been announced that it is going to be a physical event.

Silver Bears will be awarded for best leading performance and best supporting performance, instead of best actor and actress, the festival announced on Monday.

“We believe that not separating the awards in the acting field according to gender comprises a signal for a more gender-sensitive awareness in the film industry,” festival directors Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian said in a joint statement.

According to Deadline, from 2021, the Berlinale’s international jury will award the following prizes:

Golden Bear for Best Film (awarded to the film’s producers)
Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize
Silver Bear for Best Director
Silver Bear Jury Prize
Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance
Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance
Silver Bear for Best Screenplay
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution

Commenting on the decision to host the physical event, the festival directors said: “Festivals and markets are places of encounter and communication. This applies to the public as well as to the industry. We see an important and unique feature of festivals in their lively relationship with the audience. In times of the corona pandemic, it has become even clearer that we still require analogue experience spaces in the cultural realm.”