The 58th International Film Festival in Berlin, one of the most important film events in Europe, will run from Feb. 6-17.
Over 20 films are competing for the Golden Bear. The winner will be announced this Saturday.
Berlinale, in contrast to film festivals in Cannes or Venice, is the most accessible to filmgoers: one could buy tickets for nearly all screenings.
The heart of the festival is located in the Potsdamer Platz, and in fact, it is hard to imagine this event in any other Berlin district.
Polish films will also be shown at the festival. The international premiere of Andrzej Wajda’s Oscar-nominated “Katyn” is scheduled for Feb. 15. Wajda is attending the Berlin festival together with actors from his film.
Wajda received the Honorary Golden Bear Lifetime Achievement Award at Berlinale in 2006. Earlier this week, he met with young filmmakers participating in the Talent Campus, a series of film workshops held at teh festival.
While speaking with German film critics Ulrich Gregor and Mark LeFanu, Wajda expounded on the art of giving period pieces the right mood.
For the first time ever, a documentary will open the festival. “Shine a Light” by Martin Scorsese was screened on the very first evening. His latest film is the recording of the Rolling Stones’ concert, which took place in New York in 2006.
Scorsese came to Berlin with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. He said in an interview for one of the Berlin daily newspapers that he felt it could be the very last opportunity for recording a Rolling Stones concert. Having taken into account the energy of the “grandfathers of the rock” in the film, it is difficult to believe Scorcese’s words.
But the phenomenon of this years’ festival in Berlin is, for certain, the Bollywood cinema. Organizers of the Berlinale were surprised by the popularity of the screening of the film, “Om Shant? Om” by Farah Khan and the meeting with the main star of that movie ? Shah Rukh Khan. For the first time in the history of the festival, “the black market” officially began when all tickets for the Bollywood screenings sold out in a matter of minutes. Most of the fans were waiting from the early morning to meet with the actors, and what happened near the Berlinale Palast could be described in one word ? hysterical.
But they were not the only celebrities that came to Berlin.
During the first week of the festival, Daniel Day-Lewis and director Paul Thomas Anderson turned up on the red carpet in front of the Berlinale Palast. They were promoting “There Will Be Blood,” which is in the main competition section. Actresses such as Diane Kruger (member of the international jury), Tilda Swinton, Goldie Hawn and Penelope Cruz dominated opening night.
Until Feb. 17, the Platz will be shining bright with celebrities.