With more than 400 films shown, 334,478 tickets sold, 496,471 admissions, 3,716 representatives of the press coming from 79 countries, and 17,333 professional visitors, Berlinale 2017 was considered the largest publicly attended film festival in the world. This year again, thousands of film fans, film-makers, journalists and creative people from all over the world are expected to visit the German capital city.
The Berlinale is one of the city’s most important economic factors and most reputable events of cinematographic art, generating an additional turnover for the city of 125 million Euro. In addition to the classic Berlinale visitors and tourists, many professional visitors such as film buyers, producers and journalists are staying in the city for several days. Within the scope of workshops, panels and joint projects, film-makers and creative people will have the opportunity work together.
The film festival is not only an important economic factor for the city during the two festival weeks in February, but it is also a business sector all year round. In addition to the film and television business, the entire creative industry benefits from the Berlinale. According to a survey commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, around 36,000 self-employed and employed film-makers were working in Germany in 2015, and the annual turnover of film manufacturers has remained stable at around 4.5 billion Euros since 2009.
Berlin is yet again the unchallenged number one film location in Germany: Around 2,200 businesses are operating from Berlin, employing 11,330 members of staff. The successful funding initiatives by the federal state of Berlin and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg have contributed significantly to this development. The Berlin International Film Festival will receive institutional funding to the amount of 7.2 million Euro, granted by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
European Film Market & Co-Production Market
The future of film business and pioneering developments in the media and entertainment worlds are the focus of “EFM Horizon”, successfully launched at last year’s European Film Market (EFM). The progressive market platform has been expanded and will take place this year over the course of five days, from February 16 – 20 right next to the Marriott Hotel.
In keynotes, talks and workshop events, “EFM Horizon” will spotlight hot new themes such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and diversity in the film industry. The event is considered the most important meeting bringing together all people involved in film production – directors, screenplay writers, producers, sales people and technology experts.
For the first time, EFM 2018 in cooperation with INVR.Space will present official market screenings for 360° VR projects in the newly constructed “VR Cinema at Marriott”. EFM Startups – the market initiative that brings the film industry into contact with pioneers and lateral thinkers in the creative industries and technology scene – will present ten selected start-ups from Berlin and Europe.
A rich support programme offers the participants space for networking activities and to discuss the latest topics in film production.
Another new feature this year will be the expansion of the “EFM Producers Hub” initiative, which will be organized for the first time together with the ACE Producers network and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.
Items on the Berlinale Agenda
This year, Dieter Kosslick will direct the Berlinale for the 17th year in a row. For the first time, the festival will be opened with an animated film – “Isle of Dogs” by Wes Anderson. This is a world premiere, as the film will not be launched in the US until one month later, before coming to the cinemas around the globe in April 2018. Another 25 world premieres and international premieres are planned for this year.
The festival is composed of nine different film sections: competition, Berlinale Shorts, Panorama, Forum, Generation, Perspektive Deutsches Kino, Berlinale Special, Retrospektive and Homage. While the competition section comprises international films, the Panorama section comprises mainly new independent and arthouse films. The section Generation aims at children and youths. The Forum section has a particular emphasis on experimental films. Last but not least, the Teddy Award is the international film award for films with LGBT topics that attracts numerous spectators and fans.
The Berlinale Jury
The president of the jury for this year’s Berlinale will be the German director, screenplay writer, film composer and producer Tom Tykwer. His films have won many prizes and were represented at the Berlinale several times. Most recently, Tykwer directed the internationally acclaimed series “Babylon Berlin”. About the Berlinale he said it was his “favourite festival” and the “festival of his hometown”. The other jury members will be officially announced just before the start of the festival. Every year, the jury awards eight prizes, including the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bear for Best Actress and Best Actor.