One of the best things to do in Berlin in summer is to enjoy a great film en plain air. Luckily, we don’t only have a great variety of open air cinemas that screen original versions, but the locations are pretty amazing as well. Try the Freiluftkino Kreuzberg at Mariannenplatz for example, or enjoy a movie night in the park, surrounded by nature at Freiluftkino Hasenheide. The cutest and most urban of them all is the backyard cinema at the not-yet-gentrified Schwarzenberg Höfe in the middle of the posh Hackesche Höfe area. Here, Stil in Berlin‘s godchild, the Berlin Art Film Festival, launches its summer open air program with a pretty rad selection of daring Berlin films with English subtitles for five Fridays in a row. Plus, many of the filmmakers will come by for talks after the screenings.
I’ll be honest and admit that, to me, Glühwein and snow are way overrated. Winter as a whole I could do without, tbh. But there’s one reason I don’t skip Berlin for all of its winter months and that’s Berlinale. For ten glorious days, at any time of day, we have our pick of dozens of different films. Most are from corners of the world I’ve not yet explored (the first Bhutanese film noir, anyone?), though there’s also Perspektive, an entire program of homegrown German titles (with English subtitles, of course, like all non-English films in the festival). Yet it’s not a simple escapist matter of buying popcorn and bingeing; you might be able to avoid your phone’s increasingly deplorable Trump notifications, but you won’t be able to avoid what the last German Oscar winner (fingers crossed for Toni Erdmann in 2017!) so elegantly called: the lives of others.
It’s already three year’s ago that Stil in Berlin’s Mary Scherpe said “Let’s do a film festival” – more or less in passing – and two months later the first ever Berlin Art Film Festival took place at Fsk Kino. What is it all about? Art films, experimental stuff, porn, films about Berlin-based artists and poetic narratives – but in a nutshell: We want to show Berlin in a different way – edgier, fresher, beyond the canon and adding art film classics on top. The concept worked, the festival moved to Moviemento and will open its doors this Thursday for a third time. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to some of the highlights!
The weather is behaving awfully spring-like and we’re still getting used to it being 2016, so it’s easy to forget the Berlinale is already almost upon us. Now we know that many of you are intimidated by the sheer size of the film festival, let alone how to get tickets without queuing at the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden for unendurably bright hours on end. As usual, we’re here to help, providing a quick and dirty guide to how to get Berlinale tickets.
Oh, those summer nights! We have been patient, and finally they are here. The streets are buzzing, the cafés are filling up and so are the outdoor cinemas, once the sun has set. While the big ones in Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, or the one in the middle of Hasenheide are mostly re-playing the best of the year, the Berlin Art Film Festival has found a magical and secluded space in Mitte, “an island in the stream of commerce” as a jury recently called it, at the center of Hackescher Markt: the open air cinema Mitte. Throughout July, the Berlin Art Film Festival will live on that island for five nights, show some of the highlights of December’s festival again, while also having some sweet surprises in store – and an even sweeter party.