Berlin International Film Festival will rule Berlin for 10 days
On Thursday the International Film Festival Berlin starts its 62th edition. 395 films will be shown within 10 days. Most of them are shown as world premiers or for the very first time outside their country of origin. The festival includes a competition with 18 movies.
While the Competition with the 'Bear' in Gold and Silver as award is the main section of the festival, the festivals has numerous sections. Generation is split into two parts: one part with films for children under 14 and one for young adults. It has a competition as well. The Forum screens films which have another angle of filmmaking and are 'innovative', fresh and new. Funny-wise this is only true from the viewpoint of a westerner because in the Forum-section you will find films from Asia, Africa or the Arab World which are considered popular or even mainstream films at home. Another section is Panorama. Here you find everything which could not be placed in any of the other sections. Therefore it is the most interesting section because you never know what kind of movies await you there. A new section is Berlinale Special. In this section you find movies which have not made it in the Competition but whose producers or talents are too important as you can hide their movie in the Panorama-section. Originally Panorama was created to put movies there which did not make it in Competition. With the Berlinale Talent Campus – a kind of big workshop – the film festival has a place were 350 young filmmakers from all over the world meet, find partners for their projects and learn from famous filmmakers.
The Berlinale, as the festival is called, is known as a 'political' festival. That means that movies are shown, that can spark or become part of a political or societal debate or comment on actual political developments. Although we still have to wait for movies tackling the crisis of the Euro, but the first movies about the Arab Spring have already been finished so that the festival put one of its focuses on it with a selection of films put together under the headline “From and About the Arab World”.
The Berlinale is the world's biggest audience festival. People camp in front of the ticket booths to get tickets for their favorite movies. For example, one of the highlights of this years Berlinale, “Don 2”, was sold out within minutes. No wonder main actors Shah Rukh Kahn and Priyanka Chopra will present the movie personally and fans were willing to stand in line for the tickets for more than two days. “Don 2” was shot on location in Berlin in 2010 and the Berlin tourism association made a map on which all the locations Shah Rukh Khan filmed are marked.
Almost 300.000 tickets are sold every year. Actors, stars, directors, screenwriters and other filmmakers flock to Berlin during the festival week to present their movies in person. After most screenings you can ask them questions about the making of their films and discuss their work.
Other stars which are expected are: Antonio Banderas, Meryl Streep, Christian Bale, Salma Hayeck, Michael Fassbender, Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Zhang Yimou, Angelina Jolie, Ahmed Hayman Salaheldin, Steven Soderbergh, Tsui Hark.
If you plan to come to Berlin and want to visit the festival while being in town you already can make a note in your calendar because the festival takes place every year in February.
On the picture: Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra at a press confernce on October 22, 2010 while the film was being shot in Berlin, (c) Thomas Steiger