The Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival is held in a city renowned for its artistic and creative accomplishments, both past and present. Berlin is a laid-back city with enchanting cafes, lively bars and rocking nightclubs. It is a city filled with film-lovers, and film is integral to the diverse cultural activities that permeate the Berlin’s social life. The Berlinale combines the essence of Berlin in one event – art, glamour, parties and business.
The film festival was founded in West Berlin in 1951, and since 1978 has been held annually in February. Berlinale 2014 attracted 491,316 visitors, with 16,148 professionals from 131 countries. Media plays a large part in generating the inherent excitement of the Berlinale. 3,742 Journalists, from around the world, came together to work, play and watch fantastic films at the eclectic event. The public program had 413 films (incl. 106 short films) and a massive 945 public screenings.
The festival attracts films from every genre, no matter their format or length. Even experimental and unfamiliar cinematography has a place at the Berlinale – reflecting Berlin’s reputation as a city prepared to take artistic chances and embrace the different. Perhaps most unusually, one of the festival topics is culinary cinema, where film intersects with a field whose creativity is often overlooked. The Berlinale has a range of film categories. These include, Independent and art-house in Panorama. Films for younger audiences are located in the Generation category, and the German film scene is recognized in Perspektive Deutsches Kino. The sheer variety of show demonstrates why Berlin is one of the top five International Film Festivals in the world.
The Berlin International Film Festival is more than screenings; it holds workshops, discussions, and collaborations with other social and cultural organizations. It offers endless opportunities for artistic collaboration. European Film Market (EFM) is a key meeting point. It is a fertile ground for networking opportunities and the possibility to negotiate film rights, with 8000 cinema professionals from 95 countries. It also focuses on developing international co-productions. Exceptional synergies are created by this unique, close connection between the public film festival and the industry events. Young talent from around the globe is able to benefit from workshops and discussion at Berlinale Talents. Experienced professionals offer advice and guidance whilst gaining fresh and exciting perspectives from the sharing of fresh ideas and directions.
The Berlinale hosts a range of awards including International Jury, International Short Film Jury, Generation, The Crystal Bear, Best First Feature Award, Independent Juries, The Teddy, Honorary Golden Bear, Berlinale Camera.
In 2014, the International Jury presentations included:
- Black Coal
- Thin Ice
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Boire et chanter
- Life of Riley
The Silver Bear for Best Director went to Richard Linklater for Boyhood.