Berlinale highlights shift to 3-D films

Buyers at the Berlin film festival will be seeing triple this year, as 3-D productions such as "Avatar" transform the global cinema industry.

Berlinale highlights shift to 3-D films
Photo: DPA

The head of the festival’s nine-day European Film Market, Beki Probst, said the event would move to harness the new demand by offering for the first time digital 3-D screenings to industry honchos.

“We have rented a movie theatre that is not on Potsdamer Platz (the festival venue) but on the Kurfürstendamm boulevard – a prestigious cinema that is well-known and equipped for a true 3-D experience, complete with the glasses,” Probst told AFP ahead of the start of the festival on Thursday.

Probst has presided over a major of expansion of the European Film Market since 1988, which has become a key event for the buying and selling of international rights to new releases.

Industry insiders say the success of rights-trading in Berlin helped propel the festival to become the clear number two in Europe behind Cannes, well ahead of Venice which has no market.

Film is one of the few sectors that did not see sales plummet in the global recession, and blockbusters such as James Cameron’s science fiction 3-D opus “Avatar” have provided another strong shot in the arm.

While the depth-perception technology has been around for years, the technological leaps behind the success of “Avatar” and the animated “Ice Age 3,” which was released in 2-D and 3-D, have propelled it into a new orbit.

The Oscar-nominated “Avatar” – believed to be the most expensive motion picture made – has now grossed more than two billion dollars worldwide.

And it has convinced global audiences that the latest three-dimensional technology can transform the viewing experience.

Cinemas worldwide are re-equipping for new 3-D releases from major US studios such as Dreamworks and Pixar including the hotly anticipated “Alice in Wonderland” by Tim Burton, due out in March.

For its part, the European Film Market in Berlin will spotlight between 10 and 12 new 3-D productions this year, Probst said.

While she acknowledges that 3-D has sent a jolt of excitement through the industry, Probst is leery of huge Hollywood movies squeezing out the kind of independent productions for which Berlin is most famous.

“There is a kind of cannibalisation by the big productions,” with box office champs punting little movies out of cinemas, said Probst, who owns movie theatres in Switzerland. “While it’s right to say ‘cinema is doing well’ you have to ask who is doing well. How many ‘Avatars’ or ‘Ice Ages’ can you have in a year?”

She added that production money was noticeably drying up, leading to fewer international releases.

“But that’s not a bad thing because in recent years, too many films were produced. There was inflation, due in part to all the public subsidies,” she said. “Certain films should never have been produced. There are films that never found an audience.”

The European Film Market itself is in rude health, she said, with 410 firms signed up to attend, compared to 408 last year, and 127 new names coming mainly from the United States, Britain, Germany and France, many of them Internet start-ups.

But she said the wheeling-and-dealing of past years had grown a bit more sober in the economic crisis.

“The days where contracts were signed on the corner of the restaurant table are over,” Probst said. “Now people no longer buy with their eyes closed, they haggle over the price.”

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Where to celebrate Diwali 2022 in Germany

The holiday of Diwali kicks off on Monday. Here's where you can celebrate all around Germany.

Where to celebrate Diwali 2022 in Germany

With over 100,000 Indians in Germany, and over 175,000 people of Indian descent, it’s little wonder that Diwali – the famous five day Hindi festival of lights starting this year on Monday October 24th – is being celebrated all around the Bundesrepublik

READ ALSO: Indians in Germany: Who are they and where do they live?

Even the House of Parliament in Frankfurt is honouring the holiday for the first time with a special reception on October 30th.

Diwali takes its name from the clay lamps or deepa (the event is sometimes called Deepawali) that many Indians light outside their home. With the days shortening in Germany, there’s all the more reason to celebrate light — especially over lively music, traditional dance and authentically spicy Indian cuisine.

We have rounded up some of the top events to celebrate around Germany, both the week of Diwali and afterwards, stretching into mid-November. If you have an additional event to suggest, email us at [email protected]

October 24th in Heidelberg

Happen to be in Heidelberg? Then it’s not too late to head to the Sweet Home Project, which will be cooking up a storm starting at 6:30pm. The menu includes an assortment of Indian sweets and savoury dishes. The collective only asks that participants bring along a candle (and a hearty appetite).

If you miss this event, and are still craving some (really) spicy traditional cuisine, the Firebowl Heidelberg is hosting a Diwali party on October 29th, replete with lots of food and drink and Bollywood beats the whole night. 

October 29th near Frankfurt

For those who fancy a Feier with a full-buffet, this celebration in Dreieich delivers through an all-you-can-eat dinner with traditional fare. Starting at 5pm and stretching into the early hours of the morning, the festive feast includes traditional Bollywood music by Derrick Linco. There’s also a dance party for kids, who receive free admission up to seven years old and €25 up to 14 years. Normal tickets go for €40 per person.

A previous Diwali celebration of traditional dance and music in Dresden. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Sebastian Kahnert

November 4th near Düsseldorf

On November 4th at 6pm, the Deutsch-Indische Gesellschaft Düsseldorf will be hosting a family-friendly party in nearby Ratingen with classical Indian music and dance, a huge dinner and Bollywood music led by DJ SA-ONE. Tickets cost about €40 each, but children under six receive free entry. 

November 5th in Bonn 

The Indian Students Association of Bonn-Cologne will be hosting its biggest event of the year: for €10, event goers can try an array of Indian food, play classic games and tune into cultural performances. 

READ ALSO: Moving from India to Munich changed my life

November 12th in Essen 

Whether you like traditional bhajans or meditative ragas, this concert will capture many of the classic sounds of Indian music with artists such as Anubhab Tabla Ensemble, Debasish Bhattacharjee and Somnath Karmorak taking center stage. The performance starts at 5pm and costs €10. 

November 12th and 13th in Berlin

Indian food fans will get to enjoy 12 stands devoted to Indian cuisine and products, all coming from the local Indian community. The weekend-long festival will also include stand-up comedy from the Desi Vibes Comedy Group. Karaoke fans will also enjoy singing along with the Sounds of India group, followed by an after party on Saturday. All this only costs €2 at the door.