The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival is taking place February 10-20 as an in-person event. The film premieres are showing February 10-16 (with the cast and crew present, when possible), with additional repeat screenings available February 17-20. The festival opens on February 10th with François Ozon’s “Peter von Kant” at the Berlinale Palast.
Photo by: Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale
It is one of the largest public film festivals in the world, in normal times attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe. This year, with the program shortened, its major industry events, like the European Film Market (EFM) held online, and all the parties canceled, the organizers of Berlinale are, nevertheless, holding on to their concept of an in-person event, presenting films with the common thematic thread of “human and emotional bonds” across all sections.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, and Nick Cave are just some of the stars in the Competition program lineup of 18 movies, seven directed by women, which will compete for the Golden and Silver Bears. The films originate from 15 countries, with 17 serving as world premieres. More than half of the films selected take place in the present day, but only two deal with the current pandemic times. “Almost all films set their tales out of the city, in the periphery, in the countryside, or they follow the characters in their journeys away from towns," says artistic director Carlo Chatrian.
Most of us, looking at the program, get lost in its many sections. To help you navigate, we list all the major ones explained, so you can choose films of your likings accordingly:
Photo by: Peter Von Kant
Photo by: Isabelle Huppert, Philip Gay
• Competition is the main sections and screens films that will be talked about.
• Encounters presents works from independent, innovative filmmakers.
Worth noting is the festival’s section Berlinale Goes Kiez, which, from 12-18th of February, brings selected festival films to arthouse cinemas around town, honoring the social function of the neighborhood movie theaters and their role in a diverse film culture. If you don’t get tickets to the main event, you can always see the selection at your local cinema.
The awards will be revealed four days earlier this year. The final ceremony with the presentation of the Golden and Silver Bears (Berlinale Shorts and Competition), the prizes in the Encounters section, the GWFF Best First Feature Award and the Berlinale Documentary Award is taking place on the evening of February 16th at the Berlinale Palast.
In Berlinale’s tradition, each year the spotlight is given to one actor. This time, the French film and stage actress Isabelle Huppert is being awarded the Honorary Golden Bear, and the Homage is also dedicated to her. Following the presentation of the award on February 15th, À propos de Joan by Laurent Larivière will be screened as a Berlinale Special Gala event at the Berlinale Palast.
Advanced ticket sales have already begun, but hurry up – due to pandemic, the seating capacity is reduced to 50 percent, which means that the number of tickets available is less than usual. Tickets for each screening are available three days in advance.