Berlin is famous for being a cosmopolitan, exciting capital with international appeal. This becomes particularly apparent during the Berlinale, one of the most important events in the international film industry's calendar.
More than 20,000 film professionals and critics as well as numerous film fans from more than 120 countries are accredited for and visit the Berlin International Film Festival each year. With over 330,000 tickets sold, the Berlinale draws the largest audience of any film festival in the world by far.
But the festival has much more to offer than just the screening of films. For two weeks, workshops, panel discussions and joint projects encourage collaboration between all the participants. And at the exclusive Berlinale parties, people, art, glamour and business meet.
Berlinale Jury 2019
The International Jury decides who will receive the Golden Bear and Silver Bears of the Berlinale Competition. Jury president of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival in 2019 is French actress Juliette Binoche. Other members of the jury include German actress Sandra Hüller, US film critic Justin Chang, British actress Trudie Styler, Chilean-Argentine director Sebastián Lelio und film curator Rajendra Roy.
Opening film Berlinale 2019: "The Kindness of Strangers"
On 7 February, the 69th Berlin International Film Festival will open with Lone Scherfigs's film "The Kindness of Strangers". In 2019 the "Competition" features 23 films, of which 17 compete for the Golden Bear and the Silver Bears.
The Berlin Film Festival's Programme
The Berlinale's programme includes about 400 films of various genres and formats that are open to the general public, the vast majority of which are world or European premieres.
It is divided into different sections, each with a unique profile: Major international productions in the Competition, independent and art-house productions in Panorama, films for a young audience in the Generation category, the most exciting German cinema productions in Perspektive Deutsches Kino, an in-depth look at films from "distant" countries and experimental forms in the Forum, and an investigation of various other cinematic possibilities in the Berlinale Shorts.
The programme is topped off by a thematic Retrospective and a Homage that focuses on the life's work of a great film personality. Both these categories, which are curated by the Berlin Film Museum, aim to place contemporary cinema within a historical context.
A Unique Network: The Berlinale and the European Film Market
The European Film Market (EFM), a film trade fair that is part of the Berlinale where 400 companies and 8,000 film professionals foster synergies, has developed into one of the most important events for the international film business. The Berlinale and the EFM, the festival and the market, form a unique network of formal and informal connections - also to the benefit of Berlin as a location for film-making.
The films are screened in several cinemas in the city centre with the Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz as the central venue. The festival programme and detailed information about advance ticket sales are available at the Berlinale Website.
Potsdamer Platz has been redeveloped as the new centre of Berlin after the fall of the Wall. A bustling traffic intersection in the 1920s, it became desolate after WW II and part of the border strip.