Berlin’s International Film Festival, the Berlinale, celebrates its 65th birthday in 2015
Berlin is known as being a cosmopolitan, exciting capital with international appeal. The excitement reaches an even higher level during the Berlinale, one of the most important events in the international film industry’s calendar. Between February 5th and 15th more than 19,000 film professionals and critics as well as many film fans from all over the world will visit Berlin for its International Film Festival. In fact the Berlinale draws the largest audience of any film festival in the world.
In addition to the screening of films, for two weeks there are workshops, panel discussions and joint projects covering every aspect of the film industry.
This year the Berlinale’s programme includes about 400 films of various genres and formats. The majority are world or European premieres and are open to the general public. “Nobody Wants the Night” starring Juliette Binoche will open the 65th Berlinale. Binoche portrays the wife of an arctic explorer, travelling to Greenland in 1908. Other highlights this year include Beach Boy Brian Wilson visiting for “Love & Mercy”- a biographical film about the reclusive singer-songwriter. The Berlinale will also remember the victims of the Holocaust, 70 years after the liberation of Auschwitz.
American film director Terrence Malick’s new film “Knight of Cups” is among the world premieres in the Berlinale competition. Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett star in his exploration of Hollywood excess.
And for anyone who has time for a little tourism as well as film viewing?………
Berlin in February is likely to be pretty cold and grey so it’s not the season for sitting around in outdoor cafés or parks. It’s well worth making the effort to visit Charlottenburg Palace, the largest and most beautiful royal palace still standing in Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate in Pariser Platz is the most well known landmark in the Berlin and probably the whole of Germany and also welcomes visitors to the city. The Gate has a Room Of Silence (Raum Der Stille), where you can sit and contemplate the momentous events that have happened on the site. During the division of Berlin Pariser Platz was on the East Berlin side of the sector border and lay between the inner and outer sections of the Berlin Wall. It was therefore inaccessible to Berliners and visitors alike. Since the reunification of Berlin, Pariser Platz has gradually been restored to its former grandeur as one of Berlin’s central plazas.