In a couple of days the international film industry will focus on Berlin again: Berlin International Film Festival, in short: Berlinale, is coming up. We took a look at last year’s festival and give you an impression of why Berlinale is a truly special event:
What is Berlinale?
Berlinale is the International Film Festival of the city. In the beginning of every year, movies, short films and documentaries are shown in numerous cinemas. A jury of selected representatives of the movie industry then choose the winners who get awarded the Golden or Silver Bear. With more than 490,000 visitors in 2014 alone, Berlinale is the biggest audience-based Film Festival in the world. Naturally, everybody is all about it: Media from Germany and abroad report about the openings, screenings and award ceremonies for weeks.
What was to see?
A total of 413 films were running in the official public program last year, including both long and short films. The range of styles was enormous as ever: from Hollywood blockbusters to experimental artsy films everything was there. Not all films are part of the competition, but most do compete for the bears. Even big movie premieres are often happening during Berlinale: In 2014 for instance, director Wes Anderson presented his masterwork Grand Budapest Hotel as opening film of the festival – with lots of celebrities, of course. And controversial works like last year’s two-parter Nymphomaniac by Danish enfant terrible Lars von Trier often give rise to heated debates.
Who were the winners?
The Golden Bear for the best picture went in 2014 to the Chinese thriller Black Coal, Thin Ice – quite a surprise, since classic genre films do not often win the price. The Silver Bear for the best director went to one of the shoo-ins, the epic coming-of-age-work Boyhood by US-American director Richard Linklater. With Kreuzweg, a touching drama about growing up in a family of religious fanatics, a German film was found under the winners, too (best screenplay). And naturally the opening film Grand Budapest Hotel won a price as well (grand price of the jury).
Who was there?
Stars and starlets from all over the globe come to Berlin for the festival each year, so there is no better time to get cheek by jowl with the big celebrities than this. Among German stars like actor Daniel Brühl or director Fatih Akim, Hollywood stars are of course in the limelight. The lineup of stars in 2014 was astonishing, actors like George Clooney, Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, and Uma Thurman were seen on the red carpet as well as legendary Martin Scorsese or the grand dame of French cinema, Catherine Deneuve. So let’s wait for this year’s event…
What will 2015 bring?
Between February 5th and 15th Berlinale will turn Berlin into a Mecca of film again. Some premieres and surprises have cast their shadows before so it is really going to be some exciting ten days. And the best thing: You can be part of it! Since it is the world’s biggest audience-based film festival, the initiators put a special effort in making it as exciting for movie fans as possible. All about the schedule and how to get tickets you can find on www.berlinale.de . The best way to (re)charge your batteries for the thrilling movie days is to make a reservation for you comfy bed at Industriepalast Hostel, so you can be in the first row when the stars and celebrities conquer Berlin.
Enjoy the red carpet,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.