For ten days every February, it’s all about bears in Berlin: the Golden Bear and his silver brothers, to be precise – the much-coveted trophies at the Berlin International Film Festival, known as Berlinale for short. Industry experts from Germany and all over the world gather in the German capital to watch a fraction of the 400 films screened over the course of the festival. The entire city is in the grip of cinemania, tickets sell like hotcakes and would-be festivalgoers frequently find themselves queuing up for hours to get hold of some.
Berlinale award ceremony 2018. Image courtesy of © Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin / Velvet Creative Office
Berlinale Goes Kiez: Red Carpet outside the Tilsiter Lichtspiele Cinema
Launched in 2010 to mark the festival’s 60th anniversary, Berlinale Goes Kiez is an initiative in honour of arthouse cinemas. These small independents make an invaluable contribution to the local cinema scene by giving audiences the chance to see low-budget production that would otherwise be unlikely to get a big-screen release at all. The seven arthouse cinemas involved will take turns playing host to some big names from the international movie world. On 19 February, Stefan Käding, the director of the Tilsiter Lichtspiele in the immediate vicinity of Strausberger Platz, welcomes festivalgoers to Berlin‘s second-oldest movie theatre – founded only a year after the Moviemento cinema in Kreuzberg opened in 1907.
Tilsiter Lichtspiele – Over a Century of Cinema History
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Käding and some filmmaker friends discovered the abandoned movie theatre on Richard-Sorge-Straße less than a mile from Strausberger Platz and started using the facilities as a studio. After a 33-year hiatus following the cinema’s closure in 1961, it reopened in 1994 with a newly refurbished bar. Today, the Tilsiter Lichtspiele cinema hosts the ‘film in sounds’ series of concerts – live performances by musicians accompanying a film screening of their choice – as well as screening arthouse films and documentaries and has become an integral part of the neighbourhood’s vibrant cultural scene.
The 2018 Berlinale Comes to Friedrichshain
On 19 February at 5pm, the cinema hosts a discussion on the topic of ‘How to Talk to Strangers – Q&A Reloaded’: actors, film crew members, cinema operators, distributors and moviegoers will talk about how to increase audience participation and facilitate dialogue between all stakeholders. Screenings of the documentary Al Gami’ya – What Comes Around and the Polish feature film Wieża. Jasny dzień. Tower. A Bright Day are scheduled for the same day.