The festival

The 74th Berlin International Film Festival, known as Berlinale, happened from February 15 to 25, one of the most important film festivals in the world! I couldn’t be there this year, but let me tell you about it it and sum up this year!

The Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, was founded in 1951 by Alfred Hitchcock and has since become one of the most important events in the international film industry. It was established during the Cold War as a showcase for the free world’s cultural scene, to promote better understanding between cultures, and to celebrate film as an art form and a medium for intercultural dialogue.

Over the years, it has grown in size and prestige to become one of the „Big Three“ film festivals, alongside the Venice Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.

The Berlinale showcases a wide range of films from around the world, including features, shorts, and documentaries, in different sections aimed at different audiences and interests. The festival is famous for its diverse program, which includes experimental, and avant-garde works alongside more mainstream cinema.

A key feature of the Berlinale is its competitive sections, where films compete for the prestigious Golden Bear for best film and Silver Bears for individual achievement in directing, acting, writing, and other categories.

Over the decades, the Berlinale has been a platform for films that address social, political, and environmental issues, reflecting its ongoing commitment to promoting dialogue and understanding through cinema. And this year, it wasn’t different.

 

The Berlinale has been a platform for films that address social, political, and environmental issues, reflecting its ongoing commitment to promoting dialogue and understanding through cinema.

Elisa

Berlinale 2024

The festival featured a wide selection of events and screenings. It started with a big opening and included numerous film screenings across various categories, such as the Main Competition, Encounters, Short Film Competition, and Generation, among others.
Key highlights from the festival included the film „Dahomey“ by Mati Diop, which won the Golden Bear, and other notable entries such as „Black Tea“ by Abderrahmane Sissako and „My Favourite Cake“ by Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moqadam.

Something really interesting about this year is that there were films from 30 countries, including notable representations from the African continent, demonstrating the festival’s commitment to showcasing global stories. Also, it had an international jury, led by Lupita Nyong’o.

Berlinale 2024 always stands out for its political engagement. Throughout the festival, there were statements of solidarity, particularly concerning Palestine. The festival also featured discussions and protests related to global issues, showcasing the Berlinale’s role as a platform for both cinematic excellence and social discourse. Artists and activists used the festival as a stage to express their support for Palestinian rights, highlighting the event’s role as a forum for critical global issues. This engagement sparked controversy, particularly regarding statements made during the Closing Night Ceremony, which led to discussions about antisemitism and the role of cultural events in political discourse.

The festival received several celebrities from the most recent movies, like Cillian Murphy who starred in Oppenheimer. Besides that, the festival awarded one of the greatest directors, Martin Scorsese, with the Honorary Golden Bear.

Overall, Berlinale 2024 shows the power of cinema to reflect on the complexities of our world, emphasizing diversity, dialogue, and solidarity with global causes, and highlighting the importance of cultural events in fostering understanding and action on global issues. Besides that, you get to know more films, actors, and film directors that maybe aren’t so mainstream, but that are really good as well. 

Next year, I want to be there definitely!

You get to know more films, actors, and film directors that maybe aren’t so mainstream, but that are really good as well.

Elisa

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