(above: Kino International in 1963 – one of the venues for the Berlinale International Film Festival)
Once again it is time to get ready to roll out the red carpet as the cinema world comes to Berlin – and warming up the cold days of February every years is the Berlinale International Film Festival, one of the best in the world and a great chance to discover cinema from across the globe. As always, we have gathered together the important info to help you plan your cinematic adventures…
What is especially nice is that for the average cinema-going Joe or Josephine the Berlinale is quite a democratic film festival, with a good number of general sale tickets available. Yes, demand is high for those red carpet premieres and the other hyped films, especially in the competition, but then again – those are exactly the films that are going to end up in your local multiplex at some point in the near future anyway. No, for us the thing that makes the Berlinale great is the chance to catch something that would not make it even to your neighbourhood arthouse screen, let alone the local WorldofCine… so if you want to see something interesting from Serbia, Thailand or Argentina, then delve into the programme… we are sure you will find something you like.
Practicalities: Part I – When and Where on Earth… ?
The 64th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival will take place from the 6th – 16th February. Most of the cinemas are around the Potsdamer Platz, although there are participating venues throughout the city. Check out the VENUES page on the official website for more information including maps and stuff.
Part II – The Films
Much of the glamour around the festival comes from the Competition, which is where filmmakers from around the world go head to head to be awarded the prestigious Golden Bear. But actually much of the joy of the Berlinale can be found in the other sections, which are as follows:
PANORAMA – showcases new films, new directors and new discoveries from around the world. All films will be holding their world or European premiere, and this is the corner of the festival where you will find lots of international film buyers looking for the next big thing.
FORUM – avant garde, experimental, young filmmakers… this is the most “out there” section of the programme, where, in the words or the organisers, the festival “straddle(s) the line between art and cinema.”
GENERATION – short and feature films aimed at children and young people, and hosted in the main by the House of World Cultures in the Tiergarten.
PERSPEKTIVE DEUTSCHES KINO – 12 filmmakers selected to showcase the best in German cinematic talent.
RETROSPECTIVE – what is says in the tin. In 2014 the subject is “Light in Film” and audiences will get the chance to see how lighting developed with the cinema scenes of the USA, Germany and Japan, amongst others.
HOMAGE – This year the recipient of the attention that “Homage” brings is British filmmaker Ken Loach, and a number of his films are being screened, including the fantastic “Land and Freedom”.
Part III – Tickets
If you will be Berlin over the 10 days of the festival, then of course the question you want answered is: how do we get in to see the films? Well, its relatively easy. Beginning on the 3rd February, films go on sale at the ticket offices and a limited allocation through the Berlinale website.
You can only purchase films less than 3 days in advance (4 days for competition films), and on the day of the screening tickets are only available at the specific box office. The central ticket sales points are at the Arkaden on Potsdamer Platz, the Kino International on Karl-Marx-Allee, and the Urania near Nollendorfplatz (open times for all sales points: 10am-8pm).
Detailed ticket information is available online at the Berlinale website, here: TICKETS
(Image Credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B1116-0002-001 / CC-BY-SA)