Film Festival season is in full swing! On the heels of the Sundance Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival kicks off on February 7. Commonly called the Berlinale, it is the world’s largest film festival with 500,000 attendees coming to view the 300+ films in its program.
Founded in 1951 at the beginning of the Cold War, the festival was created to showcase the “free world” to the Berlin public. Born in a city divided, the Berlinale has a distinct political vibe and offers filmmakers a platform to explore social issues. It is one of the “Big Three” of film festivals considered to be the most prestigious.
Jury President for the 69th Berlin International Film Festival is the lovely and talented French actress, Juliette Binoche. The jury boasts a diverse panel representing a range of countries and disciplines. The other members: film critic Justin Chang (USA), actress Sandra Hüller(Germany), director Sebastián Lelio (Chile), curator and author Rajendra Roy (USA), and actress and producer Trudie Styler (UK).
There are two international airports welcoming charter flights to Berlin. Tegel Airport (TXL/EDDT) is the most convenient for accessing the city center, a mere 8km away. Schönefeld Airport is a second option, situated 18km from central Berlin.
Pack warmly as temperatures in Berlin linger around freezing in February. That said, there are plenty of fun and funky bars and restaurants to duck into and warm up. Or just spend your time ensconced in the theater discovering the eclectic and innovative cinematic works that The Berlinale has to offer.