• Germany's news in English

Navigating the Berlinale with The Local

Kristen Allen · 9 Feb 2011, 08:00

Published: 09 Feb 2011 08:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Get organised:

Plan ahead if you want to make the most of the Berlin International Film Festival’s unique offerings! The Berlinale website offers a wealth of information for curious festival-goers – in English. The best feature is “My Daily Planner,” where you can add your programme picks to create the ideal itinerary without accidental scheduling overlaps, and then print it out to take to the box office, or order select tickets online. You’ll also find English-language film and section descriptions to prepare you for the inevitable post-picture coffee Klatsch.

Know when tickets go on sale:

Berlinale ticket sales are tricky – not only do you have to find films that fit into your schedule before tickets go on sale, you also have to find time to order and pick them up before they’re gone.

Tickets go on sale online starting February 7 and cost between €8-12. They are available three days prior to regular shows, and four days ahead of competition film screenings. They sell out quickly!

A limited number of tickets are available online for payment by credit card only, but you still have to pick them up at the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden ticket counter location. An extra processing fee of €1.50 per ticket will be applied. Those who miss out on the online ticket sales should head to one of the three main ticket offices, which are open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. We suggest arriving as early as possible to join the queue, where the inconvenience will be tempered by plenty of time to observe a fascinating selection of fellow film fans.

Central ticket sales are at one of three locations: the atrium of the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz, the lovely Kino International at Karl-Marx-Allee 33, and the Urania at An der Urania 17.

Procrastinators may also be able to get tickets at box offices just before films start, but their lack of organisation will cost an extra €2. This is also the only time that Berlinale offers discounts (half-price) to students, the unemployed, the military and the disabled.

Consider the venue:

There are 21 venues screening films for this year’s Berlinale, several of which are located on and around Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Center. That’s a shame, because art house films are best enjoyed in charming vintage theatres, not the Cinemaxx with two x’s. Lucky for the purists, there are several lovely old classics with a full line-up of films. If you’re having trouble choosing a flick, why not let the cinema dictate your choice?

The Local’s favourite cinema in town is the Kino International, a stunning specimen of East German Modernism on the famous Karl Marx Allee, complete with a glittering gold curtain.

Another gem, the pre-war Kino Babylon, received a national award for architectural preservation in 2002 after a meticulous two-year restoration, and has the added benefit of being in the heart of the central Mitte district.

There’s also the chic Cinema Paris, lovingly maintained since opened in 1950 in the then French-occupied zone of Charlottenburg at Kurfürstendamm 211.

Construction of the Delphi Filmpalast began in 1947 out of a ruined dance hall and still has that special shabby black-and-white charm.

Get tech savvy:

Story continues below…

For the second year in a row, the Berlinale is offering a mobile website at m.berlinale.de for use on smart phones and mobile phones. The new feature allows visitors quick access to information on programmes and venues.

Language considerations:

This is your big chance to avoid suffering through the German dubbing that the Teutons still insist upon. Every film at the Berlinale runs in its original language with English subtitles. For non-German speakers interested in keeping up with German cinema, this is a special opportunity to see (and understand) the films all of your friends will be raving about once they’re released to the general public.

Be flexible:

When surrounded by film hipsters who take themselves a bit too seriously, waiting in long lines for tickets you might not get, it helps to keep things in perspective. Film festivals are supposed to be about fun and discovery, so if you don’t get tickets to that premiere you’re dying to see, just pick something else. It could be the best film you’ve ever seen, and if not, you’ll have a good story to tell.

Related links:

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd