February is not the most popular of months, Being not only the shortest, but often the coldest month of the year as well, it mainly represents the last traces of winter and the transition into the spring month of March. Sure, it has Valentine’s Day cutting it through the middle, but it still requires a little effort to power through, which is funny given that it has up to 3 days les than January and that one seems to fly by each year!

Lucky for us, Berlin is the place we call home, and February in Berlin comes with an amazing perk. That perk is called Berlinale, and starting today, it will be in in everyone’s focus for the next ten days! It’s one of the biggest film festivals in Europe (and the world for that matter), and the oldest one in Germany. This year, the festival will be special in many ways, so here are a few highlights to keep an eye out for.

  1. First year without Dieter Kosslick and a new artistic director

With Dieter Kosslick officially stepping down from being the festival’s director after 18 years, it’s time for new talent to step on the stage and take over this huge role and responsibility. His name is Carlo Chatrian, and this is the first year he will guide the festival with the title of Artistic Director. He is definitely not doing it alone, with Mariette Rissenbeek as his manager and right-hand. Both come from impressive backgrounds in cinematography and film festivals, and we are very excited to see how the new director will impact this year’s edition!

  1. New venues, new focus, new sections

It only seems logical. New management brings along many novelties, and this year, it’s an all-rounder when it comes to new additions. Berlinale 2020 features new posters, new venues, additional sections that will categorize projections in a new way, and much more. The program will also stream 340 projections, which is 60 less compared to last year’s Berlinale.

  1. Less stardom, more talent on the rise

Although a festival known for many debut authors and controversial features, each year has a number of well known Hollywood produced films that absorb a lot of attention. This year, however, things are looking rather different, with Hollywood taking a back seat and introducing only a couple of features that will be screened. One worth noticing will be Sally Potter’s “The roads not taken”, starring Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning.

  1. Hometown in focus

Another interesting fact about this year’s Berlinale is that Berlin will be stepping onto the screen, with 3 features taking place in our hometown. One of them is “Berlin Alexanderplatz”, a film by Burhan Qurbani, and one of this year’s high hopes for a Gold or Silver Bear award in the international film category. As a city of many faces, it will be very interesting to see its portrayal on the big screen. We can’t wait!

  1. Celebrity among the jurors

No big festivals can go without big names, and this year, it will be the jurors’ panel that will feature a well known name from the industry. It’s Jeremy Irons, and he will be the head of six international jurors who will decide who walks away with a Bear this year. It will definitely be a competition worth following.

In any case, Berlinale 2020 has kicked off to a great start, the program looks promising and the versatility of venues and features is guaranteed to deliver something for everyone. As for us, The Circus Hotel and The Circus Apartments are buzzing with attendees and cinema is definitely in the air at The Circus!