The Berlinale International Film Festival
After the Berlinale: other film festivals
Berlin’s most important film festival is the Berlinale, which takes place every year in February. Film stars fly in from Hollywood and around the world to attend. But there is more than just that one festival. The Berlin Independent Film Festival also takes place in February, in the art cinema Babylon. In spring, the Xposed International Queer Film Festival screens short films for fans of gay themes. Every April, Achtung Berlin shows films that have been shot in and around Berlin. In summer there are numerous outdoor cinemas, including in Mitte, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Fans of fantasy films queue up for the Fantasy Filmfest in August.
Character from Metropolis in Filmpark Babelsberg
Visiting the set of Marlene Dietrich
Studio Babelsberg was founded in 1912 and is the oldest film studio in the world. Hundreds of films have been shot here, including the science fiction classic ‘Metropolis’ by Fritz Lang and ‘Der blaue Engel’ with Marlene Dietrich. Tours are only in German.
Nearby Filmpark Babelsberg makes for a great day trip with the kids. Another nearby attraction is the former ‘Filmmuseum der DDR’, which is now the Filmmuseum Potsdam and hosts exhibits and special film screenings. The Museum für Film und Fernsehen is located on Potsdamer Platz in the centre of Berlin.
Large multiplexes such as the Cinemaxx on Potsdamer Platz screen mostly dubbed films, but the smaller cinemas show films in their original language with subtitles – look in the movie listings for ‘OmU’ (original with German subtitles) or ‘Omengl.U’ (original with English subtitles). Babylon specialises in European cinema and regularly screens silent movies accompanied by live piano music or a restored original pipe organ. Xenon screens mostly gay films, Odeon specialises in English-language films and the Hackesche Höfe Kino shows art house films and world cinema.