February 11, 2014
After getting off to an exuberant start with the opening film, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, the days that followed saw a superb line-up of stars: Bob Balaban, Christian Bale, Moritz Bleibtreu, Hugh Bonneville, Pierce Brosnan, Nick Cave, Toni Collette, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Brendan Gleeson, Jeff Goldblum, John Goodman, Hannah Herzsprung, Nick Hornby, Diane Kruger, Shia LaBeouf, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Aaron Paul, Tony Revolori, Sam Riley, Saoirse Ronan, Stellan Skarsgård, Christian Slater, Florian Stetter, Tilda Swinton, Uma Thurman, Lars von Trier, Jürgen Vogel, Hugo Weaving and Forest Whitaker have all attended this year’s Festival so far.
On Sunday, the Berlinale presented a special highlight: the premiere of the digitally restored version of Robert Wiene’s masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at the sold-out Berliner Philharmonie.
Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Volume I was another big crowd puller on the weekend, and fuelled discussion greatly. The director did not take part in the press conference, but was on hand to present his film and team at its premiere at the Berlinale Palast.
The turnout of visitors at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival is again tremendous. It’s only halftime and already 260,000 tickets have been sold. A large number of these have been printed using the new print@home service, which the public has received with enthusiasm.
“We are delighted: movie houses are full, and audiences curious and pleased to be embarking on cinematic voyages of discovery again this year. It is the public that makes the Berlinale such an extraordinary event,” remarks Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.
Also the European Film Market (EFM) is thriving. The international trade platform of the largest audience festival in the world has shown a rise in exhibitors and visitors, as well as large crowds at its two exhibition venues, in the Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Marriott Hotel.
“The invigorating spring weather has also affected the market – people are optimistic, the mood is good and business is bustling,” recaps EFM-Director Beki Probst.
The response has been enormous to the daily “Match-Making” events and to the EFM’s informational events, “Meet the Docs“ and “American Independents in Berlin”. Also off to a smashing start is the new initiative “Berlinale Talents Market Hub” in the Martin-Gropius-Bau.
New Minister of State for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters acknowledged the significance of theEFM by taking a market tour with Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, EFM Director Beki Probst and EFMCo-Director Andrea Kaul.
In its eighth year, the number of participants at the EFM Industry Debates reached a new high. On Saturday, interest was particularly great for the panel “Producers’ Lessons Learned”; and on Monday, Breaking Bad producer Mark Johnson, producer Nico Hofmann, Christina Rogers from Magnolia Pictures, Watchever CEO Stefan Schultz and others discussed “The Changing Market” before a full house. This panel focussed on the radical changes caused by technological advances, and their impact on media content and platforms, as well as resulting new business models and distribution strategies.