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Berlin Film Festival 2018 Tips + Program

The BERLINALE (Berlin Film Festival) 2018 is starting on February 15th! And if you live in Berlin, you know that there is nothing more exciting happening in the city this month! Not only are we film enthusiasts but we also love the buzz around town, especially around the Potsdamer Platz area in Mitte, the heart (and soul) of the festival.

Berlin Film Festival
Official Poster from Berlinale 2018 shows the Bear hot-tubbing!

If you are curious about how the festival works and want specific tips on what to see and how to get your tickets, etc…you are in for a treat. Our friends from Potsdamer Platz have partnered with us to give you key tips on how to get the most out of the festival!

Potsdamer Platz is definitely an iconic area in Berlin. We catch ourselves here quite often. Whether we are looking for culture, fun things to do or seefood and drinks, this place is definitely part of our Berlin experience. On top of that, it is home to the world famous Berlinale!

Photo from Potsdamer Platz’s Website

Before we give you specific tips, a little bit about the Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlin International Film Festival shows about 400 films per year, mostly international or European premieres. “Films of every genre, length and format find their place in the various sections: great international cinema in the Competition, independent and art house in Panorama, films for young audiences in Generation, new discoveries and promising talents from the German film scene in Perspektive Deutsches Kino, avant garde, experimental and unfamiliar cinematography in the Forum and Forum Expanded, and an exploration of cinematic possibilities in Berlinale Shorts. The Berlinale Special, including Berlinale Special Gala, is showing new and extraordinary productions and honours great cinema personalities. Berlinale Special Series, which began in 2015, presents selected international series. The program is rounded out by a Retrospective as well as an Homage, which focuses on the œuvre of a great personality of cinema, curated by the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen. Beginning in 2013, the Retrospective expanded to include presentations of Berlinale Classics. They show current restorations of film classics as well as rediscovered films.”

“Furthermore the Berlin Film Festival has regularly organised a programme of special presentations that open up new perspectives, provide insight into key themes, make new connections and explore realms where film intersects with other creative disciplines. Food, pleasure and the environment – these are the topics that lie at the centre of the Culinary CinemaBerlinale Goes Kiez is travelling from arthouse cinema to arthouse cinema within the city to present selected films from the Berlinale programme and NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema is devoted to the cinematic story-telling of Indigenous peoples worldwide.” (Source: Berlinale Official Website)

Here are a few tips and pointers so you can get the most out of this awesome film festival!

1)  Spend sometime familiarizing yourself with the Festival’s Website & Program. There is even a Program Planner on the official website to help you get organized (create an account, read through the synopses and select potential movies, save them in your virtual calendar) before buying tickets, etc…We often focus on the 24 “Competition” movies for starters. 

There is already a buzz about these movies this year:

**Keep checking back as we will add new “buzzed” movies here in the next few days.

303 Berlinale 2018
Snapshot from the movie 303

2)  Always have a backup movie option in case your first choice (for that date/time/venue) is sold out. And remember to play with different times and venues if you are not so flexible regarding the filmes you want to see.

3) Plan on watching 3-5 movies throughout the Festival (unless you are a movie buff). You don’t want to get tired of the experience halfway through it. 

*You are bound to find more movies you want to watch than anyone can ever watch in the 10 days of the Festival.*

4) You will find many articles written about “what to see” at this year’s Festival. Often raved about on other Festivals like Sundance, etc…Do not necessarily focus on getting tickets for those (unless they are totally up your alley). Chances are they will be sold out very fast and might not be worth the hassle, as if they really turn out to be good, they will play at a cinema near you pretty soon.

Instead, focus on the themes/directors you are most interested in and ignore the occasional FOMO (Fear of missing out). Use the “search” function on the website to zero in your favorite themes/directors/actors. If you don’t have favorites and/or are flexible, even better. Being “brave” and taking some risks can pay off in the end.

5) Tickets go on sale from Monday, February 12, 2018, 10.00 am. Mark that date/time on your calendar and set an alarm so you don’t forget! 

Tickets can be bought online through the Festival’s Website, in person at theater’s box offices (riskier option) or at a couple of special box offices around town (this is the most fun option as you get to experience the festival vibes). Click here for more specific information on where to find tickets. 

Tickets are generally available same day up to three days in advance from 10.00 am. That’s right, you can’t buy a ticket for the end of the festival right at the beginning. You might have to make a couple of purchases througout the Festival.

6) As the festival progresses, you will read and hear people talking about the most exciting movies. Adjust your plan and add a movie or two as you go along. Mind you, if you heard about them, chances are other people did too and these will become hot tickets. Act fast! 

It pays off to plan ahead! As of the afternoon of February 6th, find the full Berlin Film Festival Program HERE! 

You are bound to spend some time around Potsdamer Platz during the Berlin Film Festival. Make sure to explore this iconic part of town. Here are some tips about non obvious things to do and where to eat and drink around Potsdamer Platz. Additionally, for the Berlin Film Festival only, our friends from Bite Club are collaborating with Culinary Cinema and will present five food trucks at the heart of the festival, next to the Berlinale Palast.


***This article has been graciously sponsored by Potsdamer Platz

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