The Berlinale is one of the world’s most essential and prestigious film festivals, attracting thousands of audiences, critics, journalists and filmmakers from different countries and cultures annually. The festival has a long and storied history that dates back to 1951 when the event’s first edition was organised in Berlin, divided into two zones. At the time, the festival aimed to show that Berlin was open to the world and culturally connected to the West. Since then, the Berlinale has become a place for intercultural exchange and a platform for critical and creative perspectives on social and political issues. The festival is known for its commitment to promoting independent, artistic, and alternative films and for its top prize, the Golden Bear, awarded by an international jury chaired by a well-known film personality.
What does the Berlinale look like?
This year’s edition, which will take place from 15-25.02.2024, promises to be very interesting and diverse. The festival will feature around 400 films from various genres and sections, screened in a dozen cinemas spread across Berlin, mainly around Potsdamer Platz. The Competition section, which focuses on feature films, will feature around 20 films competing for the Golden and Silver Bears.
In addition, the Berlinale will feature many films from various sections such as Berlinale Classics, Berlinale Special, Generation, Perspektive Deutsches Kino, Encounters, Retrospective, Berlinale Shorts, Berlinale Series, and Berlinale Open House. Also worth mentioning is the European Film Market (EMF), one of the world’s largest film markets, which takes place alongside the festival. At the EFM, distributors, producers, financiers and co-production agents meet to network and exchange information. Another exciting event is Berlinale Talents, a week-long series of lectures and workshops, a meeting between young filmmakers and experienced masters of cinema.
Visit Berlin on the occasion of the festival
The Berlinale is an opportunity to watch films and explore Berlin, a city of history, culture, and attractions. While Berlin has many famous sights, such as the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Museum Island, and the Holocaust Memorial, it also has many less evident and unusual places to see.
This is an abandoned amusement park located in Plänterwald, near the centre of Berlin. The park opened in 1969 as Kulturpark Plänterwald and was the only amusement park in the GDR. After German reunification, the park changed its name to Spreepark and expanded its offerings, but in 2001, it went bankrupt and closed down. Since then, the park has fallen into disrepair and is a fascinating and eerie place at the same time. Visitors can see, among other things, abandoned carousels, roller coasters, dinosaur and animal figures and a giant mill wheel. The park is fenced and off-limits to the public, but you can admire it from the outside or take part in an official tour that takes place once a month.
A museum dedicated to the history and activities of the GDR Ministry of State Security, the secret political police that supervised and controlled East German society. The museum is located in the former Stasi headquarters building in the Lichtenberg district. There, you can see, among other things, the office of Erich Mielke, head of the Stasi, conference rooms, exhibition halls with exhibits on spying methods and techniques, repression and resistance, and an archive with documents and materials collected by the Stasi. The museum is a place of education and remembrance that shows the effects of totalitarianism and the importance of freedom and human rights.
This lively square and neighbourhood is in Berlin’s centre, close to Museum Island and Alexanderplatz. Hackescher Markt is a famous meeting and entertainment place where you can find many cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs, and fashion and design shops of young Berlin brands. There are also historic buildings and courtyard complexes around the square, such as Hackesche Höfe, which exemplifies Art Nouveau architecture and is a venue for art, culture and cinema. The square also hosts a weekly market for fresh produce, handicrafts and souvenirs.
East Side Gallery
The longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall, which has been turned into an open-air art gallery. On the more than one-kilometre-long section of the wall that runs along the banks of the Spree River, you can admire more than 100 murals painted by artists from all over the world who have expressed their message of freedom, peace and hope. Some of the best-known works include the famous Dirty Brother’s Kiss, depicting a kiss between the leaders of the GDR and the USSR, or a Trabant breaking through a wall, symbolising the fall of communism. The East Side Gallery is not only a tourist attraction, but also a historical and cultural monument.
It is a huge urban park that was created on the site of the former Tempelhof airport, which closed in 2008. The park covers an area of more than 300 hectares and is one of the largest city parks in the world. The park offers a wide range of activities, such as cycling, rollerblading and running paths, playgrounds, allotment gardens, fields for ball games, barbecues and picnics, and even a golf course. The park is also a venue for various cultural and sporting events such as festivals, concerts, fairs and competitions. Tempelhofer Feld is an ideal place to relax and unwind in a green space, as well as to admire the architecture and history of the former airport.
The Berlinale film festival is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of art and discover extraordinary stories, images and emotions. It’s also the perfect excuse to explore Berlin, a city full of surprising and inspiring places. If you want to experience it all, don’t delay and book your ticket for Berlinale 2024 today. The most convenient and cheapest way to get to Berlin is by coach, for which you can book your ticket in our search engine. Don’t miss this unique opportunity and plan your trip to Berlin now.