The Berlin Film Festival (aka the Berlinale) runs February 7 to 17. The Red Carpet Premieres are stunning and Festival Director Dieter Kosslick adds a special filip to the event. Outside in the cold winter nights, the Festival's wide spread of red carpet warms the onlookers who gather in spite of the cold to see the stars and a huge screen shows you the on carpet interviews as they occur. Inside, the flower arrangements and the beautiful formally dressed men and women are stunning. This year the Festival will show new movies from Steven Soderbergh (Side Effects starring Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gus Van Sant (Promised Land about the shale gas industry), and a trio of films starring French divas (Juliette Binoche in Camille Claudel 1915, Catherine Deneuve in On My Way, and Isabelle Huppesrt in The Nun. The 19 films vying for the main Golden Bear Prize in Competition include films from Kazakhstan and Iran. The top prize will be awarded by a seven member jury under Chinese director Wong Kar-wai whose members include actor-director Tim Robbins.
The European Film Market (EFM) under the leadership of Beki Probst is the most elegant of the three major international film markets. EFM is held in the nearby Martin Gropius Bau (MGB), an elegant 19th century building which usually is a museum and which was built by the father of our own Walter Gropius whose mid-century vision shaped Los Angeles homes in the 50s and 60s. Last year the museum showed the definitive L.A. Standard Time. MGB is situated across from the German Parliament where EFM also holds the Co-Production Meetings. Between the 19th century buildings runs the line which formerly was the line of The Wall separating East Berlin from West Berlin. Next to the building is a wide expanse of empty land where the now destroyed Gestapo Headquarters used to be.
As you enter the Market itself, formally clad attendants greet you. You doff your warm outerwear at the coat check-in and you are ready to do business. Some of the larger U.S. Sales companies make their offices in the equally elegant Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt or Marriott Hotels at the nearby Potsdamer Platz. Although they are selling their usual product, you get the feeling that the fine art films, the art house films, the European and Asian independent and major studio films are more visible here than at any other market. This is where buyers and producers come with their international sight focussed on acquiring fine films, the sort you would find in Toronto rather than at AFM.
Aside from the film sales going on, other activities take place. The Co-production Meetings, Talent Campus, Meet the Docs, Frankfurt Bookfair's From Book to Film and a sample of others follows here.
EFM Industry Debates: Feb 8-10, 4.30-5.30pm at Gropius Mirror
At this year's seventh edition of the EFM Industry Debates, international experts will discuss 3-D after the hype, focus on Europe’s film industry in times of the financial crisis, and new opportunities for finance and content. Find further details, panellists and online pre-registration form at EFM Industry Debate.
Industry Talks about VOD and TV-series on Feb 11
For the second time the European Film Market will host two Industry Talks in cooperation with the Film- and Medienstiftung NRW. The panels will take place Feb 11 4-6.30pm at the Gropius Mirror restaurant opposite the Martin-Gropius-Bau.
Meet the Docs #5
The EFM networking platform for the documentary industry will again be based on the second floor of the MGB. The daily information sessions "Meet the Distributors" and "Meet the Festivals" will be expanded by "Meet the Broadcasters" and "Meet the Docs Talks". Please find all details on the Meet the Docs panel series here.
BARCO Presentation at EFM– Small Theaters, Big Images
Independent or art-house cinemas deserve great image quality too! That’s why Barco launched the DP2K-10Sx projector: compact, bright, easy-to-use and affordable. Discover the new projector @CinemaxX 11, Potsdamer Platz, on 13 February, 4-6 pm. Registration required at Sales.dach [at] barco.com