Berlin – Once again, like each February for the past 63 years, the erstwhile Third Reich’s headquarter city and former divided capital of Germany, transforms itself into a cinematic winter wonderland: The Berlinale International Film Festival, perhaps the most important Hollywood – like event open to the public, outside the United States.
The Potsdammer Platz, once the biggest no man’s land in Europe between East and West Berlin, is suiting up to welcome global film stars, independent filmmakers, film professionals, critics and movie buffs from around the world. The bustling city centre renounces its business oriented identity and becomes a film fanatic utopia for 10 days.
People sleeping in the Arkaden mall to get a ticket is not frowned upon, accreditation level defines your importance, coffee shops are filled with the festival’s programs and catalogues and film stars in their haute couture outfits uncomplainingly take in Berlin’s freezing temperatures as they walk down the red carpet of the Berlinale Palast, surrounded by bustling crowds and camera flashes.
The futuristic Sony Center, the glamorous Berlinale Palast, the classic Friedrichstadt Palast, the ostalgic Kino International and the several other festival venues, are filled with screenings, panels, people, arguments and life around the clock!
Yes it is February again! And there is no place to be like Berlin!