Berlinale: 64th Berlin International Film Festival
As the 2014 movie season kicks off in Park City, Utah, exciting things promise to continue as Berlin hosts its 64th International Film festival shortly after. Always an international hub for the arts and culture, the historic German city is set to draw much attention this year. With big names premiering even bigger movies, cinema fans will find much to discover and discuss. As any high-profile festival should, Berlin will screen films spanning all genres, languages, and movie budgets. In addition to the films themselves, the European Film Market and Co-Production Market are guaranteed to generate many exciting deals.
When: 6th (Thursday) – 16th (Sunday) February, 2014.
Venues: This year’s venues are yet to be announced. Last year’s festival’s events took place at the Marriott Hotel, MGB, Gropius Mirror Restaurant; movie screenings were held at Cinema Arsenal, Cubix, Colosseum, just to name a few.
Where to Stay: According to the official website, the festival has partnered with local hotels to offer a limited number of rooms to accredited professionals. These hotels range from one to five stars, which can be viewed here. Prices vary amongst the hotels; for instance, five-star hotel Hilton Berlin can be upwards of $500 a night (for a king guestroom). Other partner hotels include:
Hotel ADLON Kempinski (*****)
Crown Plaza Berlin City Centre (****)
Hotel Gat Point Charlie (***)
Motel One Berlin Tiergarten (**)
Tickets: As usual, tickets will be available through the festival’s website, as well as box/ticket offices. Advanced ticket sales will begin one week after the official programme is published at the end of January.
Special Presentations: With a goal to “open up new perspectives” on how film and other creative disciplines intersect, the festival has two special presentations planned. These include, “Berlinale Goes Kiez” and “Native – A Journey Into Indigenous Cinema.”
Awards: Films will be competing for a slew of amazing prizes and honors. Selected by a prestigious international jury, Silver bear awards will be presented for best director, actor, actress, outstanding artistic contribution, script, and the jury grand prix, as well as the illustrious Golden bear for best film. Romanian film Child’s Pose, made with an indie movie budget of only 850,000 euros, took home the award last year.
George Clooney headlines High Profile Debuts
George Clooney’s first project in the director’s chair since The Ides of March, The Monuments Men has officially announced it will make its international debut in Berlin. The film, starring Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, and many others, tells the story of a motley crew platoon that must go behind enemy lines to rescue stolen works of art.
The universe seems to be in Clooney’s favor these days, as a coincidental nazi-art loot discovered in Munich times nicely with the release of the film. The Wall Street Journal reports Sony Pictures Spokesman Steve Elzer as saying “You could not ask for a more timely, topical or relevant discovery that corresponds to the events depicted in our upcoming film.” With a film budget of $70 to $80 million, a successful Berlin debut will play a large part in the movie turning a profit.
A Grand Opening
Internationally admired auteur Wes Anderson will open the festival with his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Causing much buzz with its trailer, the film seems to posses the same likable qualities of Anderson’s previous films, making it a smart choice as the opener. According to ropeofsilicon.com, the movie recently received an R rating, suggesting it is more mature than his previous film, the light-hearted Moonrise Kingdom. The rating shouldn’t signal any box-office troubles, since his previous R-Rated films, such as The Royal Tenenbaums, grossed over $71 million internationally on a movie budget of $21 Million. This is the first of Anderson’s films solely written by himself, utilizing collaborations with Roman Coppola and Owen Wilson in the past.
In addition to the festival, Berlin will also host an international film market. Similar to the AFM, the European Film Market will work as the business center of the festival; allowing producers, distributors, and other professionals to network and make deals. The official page describes it, “as a barometer for the upcoming year in film.” The market will take place at the Martin-Gropius-Bau renaissance hall. Projects with large and small film budgets will be given equal opportunity to pitch their movies to industry elites. In addition to the Film market, a co-production market will take place from the ninth to the eleventh. According to the website, “The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a two-and-a-half-day event for about 450 international producers, sales agents, distributors as well as broadcasting and funding representatives active in the field of co-production.”
Berlin World Premieres
With such classics as Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year at Marienbad (1961) on his resume, it’s no surprise Berlin is excited to have the french director Alain Resnais’ new film as part of its official selection. The new film titled Aimer, Boire et Chanter, starring Sandrine Kiberlain, marks the french director’s fiftieth director credit, according to IMDB, and will have its world premiere in Berlin.
Other exciting Berlinale news includes, the world premieres of director Yann Demange’s ’71, starring Jack O’ Connell, Yannis Economides’ Stratos (an international co-production between Greece, Germany, and Cyprus), German Dominik Graf‘s Die geliebten Schwestern, and Claudia Llosa’s Aloft, starring Jennifer Connelly. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Aloft is the Peruvian director’s English-Language debut. Her second feature, The Milk of Sorrow, won the Golden Bear back in 2009.
Outside of the competition, Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul, will make its world premiere. The film, an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, is about four people forming a surrogate family in order to deal with their own personal problems.
Australia’s The Turning, a collection of short films based on stories by Tim Winston, will also have a special screening. The movie has eighteen director credits including, Tony Ayres, Jub Clerc, and Ian Meadows. With an incredible cast, starring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Rose Byrne, the omnibus film is sure to cause a buzz at the festival.
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