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65th Berlinale: Berlin rolls out the red carpet

Film lovers, journalists, and Hollywood celebrities will be gathering in Berlin for the 65th Berlinale international film festival from 5 to 15 February. The festival is an important mainstay in Berlin’s cultural calendar and has a corresponding positive effect on tourism and the city’s global image. Premières, visitors from around the world, and an array of stars on the red carpet put Berlin in the international media spotlight. Stars such as Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Helen Mirren, and Robert Pattinson have announced that they plan to attend the world’s largest film festival open to the public. Juliette Binoche will be opening the Berlinale with the world première of “Nobody Wants the Night”. The team behind festival film “Fifty Shades of Grey” is also expected to attend. Berlin actor Daniel Brühl is on this year’s jury, chaired by director Darren Aronofsky. This year’s festival themes focus on films about strong women, new television drama series, and the movies of the Technicolor era.


Berlin in a starring role


Even the city will be in the spotlight. Many productions are filmed here. The Berlin-drama series “Blochin” with Jürgen Vogel will have its première at the Berlinale, while Tom Tykwer will be presenting his current project, the crime series “Babylon Berlin”. Festival films shot in Berlin include the current drama “Elixir”, featured in the German Cinema series, “B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin”, and “Wings of Desire” by this year’s honorary Golden Bear winner Wim Wenders. Once again under the slogan “Berlinale Goes Kiez”, the film festival will be spreading out to the small art house cinemas around the city’s many neighbourhoods. Four exhibitions during the Berlinale are also addressing the medium of film: In “Blow-Up”, C/O Berlin is featuring Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic film and its connection to photography. And especially for the Berlinale, C/O Berlin is also featuring photos of this year’s festival by young photographers in “Close Up!” 50 historic film posters will also be on display at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. The Deutsche Kinemathek is featuring the works of film production designer Ken Adam in a show entitled “Bigger Than Life”.

The visitBerlin Berlinale service


Cinema tickets without queuing for hours: Book your tickets at the Berlin Service Center by calling +49 (0)30 25 00 25 as well as at the six Berlin Tourist Information Offices. Sales begin three days in advance of the showing, while supplies last.

Film as driver of tourism


More than 100,000 members of the public and 20,000 trade visitors and journalists from Germany and abroad come to the Berlinale each year, which represents an additional €80 million in revenue for the city, according to a study by Investitionsbank Berlin. However, the impact of Berlin’s role in the film industry extends well beyond the festival: Films and series shot in Berlin attract a significant number of visitors to Berlin each year. Ten per cent of all Berlin visitors admit to being inspired by media coverage to come to Germany’s capital. Tourism driven by the film industry as a result of productions such as Steven Spielberg’s upcoming drama “St James Place”(to be released in autumn 2015) generate an additional €134 million in revenue according to a study by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

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