You need to know that about the Berlin Film Festival

You need to know that about the Berlin Film Festival

The first Berlinale without Kosslick: Here you will find everything you need to know about this year’s innovations, the films, the venues – and our insider tips.

© Photo: Wolfgang Kumm / dpa
New look: The Berlinale posters are graphically simple, but many miss the bear motifs.

Only a few days until the start of the 70th Berlinale, the first with the new double leaders Carlo Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek. The program with all dates is here. It is open available online – here you get directly to the program overview,

So go ahead and plan your favorites! You need help? In this article you will find everything worth knowing about the changes at the festival, the venues, the pre sales and the individual sections and your movie Highlights,

From the Opening day on February 20 We report daily on many channels: online with a news blog, picture galleries and reviews, in the newspaper with several extra pages – about the festival, the pictures on the screens, the people behind and in front of it. Our critics ranking for the 18 competition candidates (Bear Gala is February 29th) can be found as well as the daily Filmfest column by Robert Ide on page one of the newspaper and also here on

What has changed the new dual leadership in the program?

The category “Out of competition” has been abolished, Glamor films are now running as special galas. That too “Culinary cinema” no longer exists, as well as the “Native” series.

For this, Carlo Chatrian as the new artistic director a second competition Installed, curated with his seven-member selection team: “Encounters” gathers 15 films with a somewhat more daring aesthetic. Such series with their own jury also exist in Cannes and Venice, where they are called “Certain regard” and “Orrizzonti”.

However, there are no sections like the Forum and the Panorama, which celebrate the diversity of the cinema anyway. So it will be interesting to see whether the profile of the Berlinale is sharpened by “Encounters” or whether the sections are competing more.

What remains with the old one?

The most. The competition with 18 films and the large secondary series, such as the “Generation” kids section or the “German Cinema Perspective”. And the homage to them Honorary Golden Bear winner, Last year it was Charlotte Rampling, this year it is Helen Mirren – if that means no continuity.

Not ten, but only five films with the award winner to be shown is a shame. The series also have their own platform. The youngsters will continue to be trained at the “Berlinale Talents” at HAU, and there are even the food trucks that Dieter Kosslick has introduced. However, they should no longer be located in Joseph-von-Eichendorff-Gasse, but on the other side of Potsdamer Strabe, at or in the Sony Center.

Has the festival been “purged” as critics have asked?

Yes and no. Under Kosslick, the Berlinale counted 14 sections, now there are 13. Go with 340 films 60 tracks less at the start as 2019.

Carlo Chatrian emphasizes that this is not to be understood programmatically, perhaps next year there will be more. The reason for the lower sum is the less extensive King Vidor retrospective, And because the independently operating lines in the other rows have tightened slightly without exception.

The Berlinale remains teamwork, the 15 management teams are half staffed with women. By the way: Of the 6813 films submitted 31 percent of women, In the selected entries, there are 38, in the competition 33 percent – in 2019 it was 41 percent. The most important: The Berlinale remains a public festival. the new dual leadership is unequivocally committed to this. Including the Kiez cinema program, including at City Kino Wedding, in b-ware! In-store cinema, in xenon.


Read more about the highlights of the most important program series here:

Are there new venues?

Managing director Mariette Rissenbeek had no choice but to follow new cinemas to search. Because the Cinestar in the Sony Center, where screenings of the film market took place in addition to panorama and forum screenings, is closed.

Therefore in Cubix at Alexanderplatz now not only three halls, but the whole house. Problem with the fast commuting between the festival locations: The U2 does not currently stop at Potsdamer Platz in the direction of Ruhleben. But such a short walk from Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park to the Berlinale Palast, the Cinemaxx or the Arsenal cannot frighten real cineastes.

The House of World Cultures is also undergoing renovations, which is why they are bustling 70,000 “generation” children, among others, in Urania, The “perspective” can now also be found in the International, and The Academy of the Arts is being revived as a venue on Hanseatenweg. Among other things, the anniversary program “On Transmission” is increasing here.

Click on the image to go to the interactive map:

How will the pre-sale work from February 17th?

On to Ticket counter in the arcades at Potsdamer Platz, It is uncomfortable, however the arcades are rebuilt, almost all shops are currently closed. Or to the international. Attention: The Haus der Berliner Festspiele on Schaperstrasse is no longer a ticket office, Instead, residents of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf can go to Audi City at Ku’Damm 195.

The central pre-sale starts on Monday February 17th, and then takes place daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Advance ticket sales: Arkaden am Potsdamer Platz, Kino International, Karl-Marx-Allee 33, Audi City, Kurfurstendamm 195.

There are tickets for a specific performance three days in advance, An exception: For all screenings and events in the Friedrichstadt-Palast, in Hebbel am Ufer, in the Kiez cinemas and for the public day on March 1st, advance sales start on February 17th.

Comfortable from home, but without the Berlinale feeling in the cash register: buy tickets online. Around 10 a.m. new tickets daily on the Berlinale website made available. They can be delivered or printed out as a mobile ticket (for almost all performances). If you want to try it online, you need a bit of patience and luck: the digital ticket contingent will not be increased.

Tickets are only available online on the day of the performance and at the box offices of the cinemas – if any are still available. The ticket offices connected to the Eventim network also sell tickets (fee € 2). Tickets cost € 13, except: Competition at the Berlinale Palast, Special and Special Gala, Forum Expanded (also exhibition): € 8 to € 16, generation: € 5, public day: € 10. Tickets for Berlinale Classics February 21, 5:30 p.m. (silent film with orchestral accompaniment): € 24.

What about the practical app?

The program app is no longer available, all of its functions are integrated into the extensively relaunched website, which also contains photos, videos and livestreams. The Berlinale, which has now been placed as the favorite festival planner, has also been improved based on feedback from many users.

Advantage: From the festival schedule you can switch directly to the online tickets,

Disadvantage: You need good WiFi, a problem in Berlin. If you’re in line in the arcades, you’re in luck: there’s a hotspot.

What shouldn’t you miss?

Well, journalists ask themselves that too. We are looking forward to that Berlin Stories in a Competition: Burhan Qurbanis today’s version of “Berlin Alexanderplatz”, Christian Petzolds “Undine” with Paula Beer as aquatic museum guide and Franz Rogowski and “little sister” from Switzerland, who plays in the vicinity of the Schaubuhne. With Lars Eidinger, Nina Hoss – and Director of the Schaubuhne Thomas Ostermeier!

In the panorama, “Exile” sounds promising: The drama about xenophobia and bullying with Misel Maticevic and Sandra Huller received good reviews at the Sundance Festival. And for the 50th birthday, the forum does not present a best-of, but the entire first year of 1971, including works by Angelopoulos, Kluge, Praunheim and Helke Sander.

President of the seven-member jury is an Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, His choice was controversial, he had made sexist and hostile statements in the past – while the film festival explicitly stood for tolerance and equality. At his side, three women and three men will decide on the award of the bears – read more about the jury members here,

For autograph hunters: Sigourney Weaver walks the red carpet for the opening with “My Salinger Year”; Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Salma Hyek and Laura Linney are featured in Sally Potter’s film “The Roads Not Taken”.

The series also have star power: Cate Blanchett is announced (with “Stateless”), Damien Chazelle shows as director the French (!) jazz series “The Eddy”. The four-hour portrait “Hillary” runs as a “special” – Hillary Clinton is coming! And for those hoping for deep relaxation during Bingeviewing, the eight-hour “The Works and Days (of Tayooko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)” in the “Encounters” is recommended. Everyday life of a Japanese farmer – and the seasons come and go.

What are the exciting topics at the 70th Berlinale?

So far there are three. Alfred Bauer, the Founding director of the festival, was a senior Official in the Reich Film Directoratehow the “time” found out. A cinematheque publication, which according to “Zeit” presents the case somewhat more harmlessly, was therefore withdrawn. The Alfred Bauer Prize will also not be awarded and will probably be replaced by a new prize in 2021.

The case poses not a good light to the Kinemathek, which as the chief chronicler of the Berlinale has had evidence for years that Bauer was also in the SA – and has not followed the advice for a long time. The competition film “Dau. Natasha ”and the six-hour“ Dau. Degeneration in the “Special” series should provide adrenaline rushes.

Read more about the controversy surrounding Alfred Bauer here:

In Berlin it had Dau project 2018 caused a stir when a block of streets around the Linden Opera House was to be bricked up for the immersive installation and it by the authorities no authorization gave (Read more about the DAU debate here).

Third exciter: the new festival design, Many find it very pale and miss the funny bear posters,

Do trade visitors and gala guests have to reorient themselves?

A little bit. The Adagio Club in the basement of the Berlinale Palast has been used for the “Magic Mike” show since January. It will take a break from February 20, but since the hall is fully furnished, receptions cannot take place there. And the cloakroom in the basement has given way to a bar. Previously there was press material and writing space here, all of this can now be found in the Atrium Tower in Eichhornstrasse,

Nothing changes in the sustainability requirement: The Berlinale remains largely paperless. The motto too Bring your own cup applies again. And the festival stays that way vegetarian like in the era of the vegetarian Kosslick: Every now and then there’s fish.

What about the budget?

The Berlinale is financed each time a third from federal funds, ticket revenue and sponsorship. The main partners are again L’Oreal, ZDF and Audi.

Drive again exclusively electric cars and the Audi Lounge in front of the Berlinale Palast is open again to film fans. Magenta TV and RBB Media are new. And because of the 70th birthday, Minister of Culture Monika Grutters donated an extra 200,000 euros. Overall, come this time 10.4 million euros from their casket.

487,504 visitors were counted last year. Let’s see how the 2020 balance sheet will turn out: fewer films, that could also result in fewer ticket sales.

Is the Berlinale bag still available?

Sure, the anniversary will be Silver Edition touted. Subtly in black-gray design, with a silvery 70.

And what does Dieter Kosslick do?

Fasting right now and after 18 years, treat himself to a Berlinale break, In March he presented his “Culinary Cinema” for the third time at the Prague Film Festival. And he writes on his memoirs, Publication date still open.

Who misses him violently: On February 19, he walks across the red carpet, at midnight on Arte, in Thomas Schadts Berlinale 2019 film “The cinema is dead, long live the cinema”.


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