There’ll be a hot time in the town of Berlin*


Still not sure where to go between the 9th and the 19th February of 2017? If you can make it to Berlin you certainly should, because here the international film scene will congregate and celebrate the 67th edition of the International Film Festival. A holiday in sunny climes is of course always an attractive alternative – that is, if you’re not interested in film and the glamour that surrounds it. Otherwise the Berlinale is the ultimate place to be. For cineastes, certainly, and also for those who simply enjoy the pastime of seeing and being seen!  Experience the hottest mixture of glamour, party, and business.

The bon mot of Berlin’s former mayor Klaus Wowereit – “Berlin is poor but it’s sexy” – does not apply to the festival: The Berlinale as a major cultural occasion is one of the most important events of the international film industry. The sale of 337,000 tickets in advance is an impressive testimony to that. In addition, more than 20,000 professional visitors from 122 countries travel to Berlin, around 3,800 of them journalists.

Berlin has cast a spell on artists from all over the globe. In contrast to Hollywood, you find a very diverse film cosmos here. Their passion for movies nevertheless forms a strong connection between both film metropolises. In Berlin, even the biggest Hollywood stars brave the cold, and pose shivering but stunningly beautiful on the city’s red carpets. Charming as always, Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick has an open ear for all of them. Each year, he works the little miracle of creating a cosy family atmosphere which even big stars value highly.


What makes the Berlinale different from other film festivals? One example is that any filmmaker can apply with his film and present it to the critics. Any applicant has the chance to take the ‘Golden Bear’ for ‘Best Picture’ home. Among the jury members you will find actors and producers, but also famous writers and artists. Over several sessions – of course behind closed doors – the jury independently pick the winners.

As in every year, cineastes from all over the world can look forward to around 400 movies, mostly world premieres or European premieres, in the official program.  There’s something for everybody. In various categories, films of all genres, durations, and formats are shown. On February 18th the festival ends with a glamorous gala night and the famous award ceremony. On the following day, Berlin returns to its everyday life, and you will be able to get a table again at the legendary Borchardt. If you go there, make sure you order the fantastic “Wiener Schnitzel” with cucumber salad – a simple dish, but nevertheless divine.

After universally adored American actress and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep served as last year’s jury president, now Dutch director and screenwriter Paul Verhoeven fills the post. Verhoeven is a very experienced film maker and of course has been successful in the most diverse genres, in Europe as well as in Hollywood. “The range of his filmmaking reflects his creative, versatile recklessness and will to experiment,” says Berlinale boss Dieter Kosslick.

Everybody will know the provocative erotic thriller Basic Instinct from 1992, which made him, as well as leading actress Sharon Stone, stars, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Right now, French actress Isabelle Huppert delivers a spellbinding performance in Verhoeven’s film “Elle” (German cinematic release on February 2nd  2017) as a woman who wanders through sado-masochistic abysses and meanwhile successfully deals with a childhood trauma.

It is advisable to buy tickets as soon as you can, if you do not belong to the prestigious circle of invited guests. And in case we will not meet posing on the red carpet – and freezing in Berlin’s cold air – we’ll see each other at the Borchardt to celebrate life together!

*Frank Sinatra “There’ll be a hot time in the town of Berlin”