Berlinale is once more about to descend on Berlin. It is one of the biggest film festivals in the film industry and is the first major European film festivals of the year. Stars, directors and moviegoers a-like will all be flocking to Berlin for the 11-day festival. But what are the top ten things you need to know about Berlinale?
- History - Berlinale has taken place in February every year since 1951. While the Federal Government contributes some funds to the event, most of the money is raised from entrance tickets and sponsors.
- The Program - more than 5,000 films from around the world are submitted to Berlinale. Just over 400 of these films will be screen across the several different sections that comprise the official Berlinale program. Further films will also screen for industry insiders as a part of the European Film Market.
- The Main Act - films in the running for the Golden and Silver Bears are the festival’s main focus. Alongside the festivals opening film, Isabel Coixet’s “Nobody Wants the Night”, 20 others are in the running for something shiny. In the mix are submissions from several different countries. There aren’t any hot favorites to win at the moment but bets are soon to be on as soon as the festival kicks off.
- The Stars - numerous stars will be making appearances at this year’s Berlinale. Highly anticipated is the cast of “Fifty Shades of Grey” which will have its world’s premiere at Berlinale. Several important directors will also be attending the event including Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. Wim Wenders will be collected the Honorary Golden Bear this year to honour his lifetime of achievements in the film industry.
- The Berlinale Bears - the unmistakable icons can be found all over Berlin; plastered over T-shirts, posters, baby pacifiers, bags and cereal bowls. The bear is the heraldic animal of Berlin and is featured on both the coat of arms and the flag of Berlin. Artist Renee Sintenis designed the original bear statuettes. The bears used to be cast in actual gold and silver. Unfortunately, not any more!
- Culinary Cinema - the “Culinary Cinema of the Berlinale” serves up a menu of current films with a focus on food. The motto for this section is “We like it hot… but don’t let it burn.” After the film screens, audiences discuss food, culture and politics while dinning at dinner. Festival director, Dieter Kosslich, came up with the idea as a bit of fun, but it has now proved to be a main attraction at the festival.
- For the Kids - Berlinale includes the “Generation” section, which is a specific program for younger people aged 4 - 18. The section comprises of around 60 films, both features and shorts. Often filmmakers stick around after their screenings to answer questions that their films might inspire in their young audience. So attending one of these screenings is a must for any aspiring filmmakers. A kids-only jury will also award a Glass Bear to their favourite film.
- The juries - this year the international jury will be led by director, screenwriter and producer Darren Aronofsky. Other members include Daniel Brühl and Audrey Tautou. The international jury decides who will receive the Golden Bear and Silver Bears of the 2015 Berlinale Competition. There are however, numerous other juries across this year’s program. Other juries will decide other categories including best international short film and the best first feature award.
- The European Film Market (EFM) - the EFM is a film trade fair, which runs alongside Berlinale every year. All interested parties take part in the fair to promote, finance, produce, and distribute films and all things that are related to the industry.
- For Everyone - while many film industry heavy weights will be attending the festival, it is also open to members of the public. Tickets can be purchased online or from venues where the films will be screened.
So for anyone interested and wanting to experience an exciting feature of Berlin culture check out the Berlinale website for more information. Happy movie watching!
For more information: https://www.berlinale.de/en/HomePage.html