Find your way to Berlin’s acclaimed film festival

The 66th annual Berlin International Film Festival takes place this year, in its usual setting of Germany’s vibrant capital. This major festival is an exciting event which brings glamour, celebrity and culture to the city - over and above the not-inconsiderable amount that resides there permanently! It’s considered one of the “big three” film festivals, in company with Venice and Cannes, and has been going strong since 1951.
What’s on for Berlinale 2016
In 2016, the Berlinale will be held from the 11th of February to the 21st of February. Venues for the various showings and events are scattered around the city, offering myriad opportunities to take it all in.
In keeping with the usual program, it will include nine different film sections:
  • Competition, with feature-length films which have not yet been released outside of their home country. 
  • Berlinale Shorts, comprising short films.
  • Panorama, with independent and arthouse films. Includes controversial subjects or unconventional styles.
  • Forum, for avant-garde and experimental films. This section has no awards and is considered the most daring.
  • Generation, a section devoted to youth and children.
  • Perspektive Deutsches Kino, a varied category focused on German themes and perspectives.
  • Berlinale Special, featuring new and extraordinary productions, often from cinema greats.
  • Retrospective, dedicated this year to 1966 (50 years ago).
  • Homage, in which a Golden Bear for lifetime achievement is awarded to one cinematographer, and a series shows the works of other influential film personalities.
The entire public program for the festival will be released very shortly, and you’ll be able to find it on the Berlinale website - tickets are also available for purchase there. Of course, this festival is aimed squarely at film buffs, but all comers will find that the city comes particularly alive during its run. There are international stars on the red carpet, art, parties and more. The European Film Market trade event also occurs concurrently with the Berlinale festival, bringing together thousands of industry professionals to gather, network and exhibit in the Martin-Gropius-Bau art museum.
Get there
A Berlin Airport car rental is the simplest and most efficient way to get to any of your chosen Berlinale events. Fly in, pick up your wheels and you’ll have the freedom to explore as you wish and make your way to the various different venues. You can also choose “search city pick up” to find depots near the train stations and in the Berlin suburbs, for those arriving by train or bus.
With flights and other travel services becoming busy in Berlin around the time of the festival, film buffs might prefer to arrive elsewhere in Germany and make a road trip of it, aided by the high-speed autobahn highways. Depending on how far you want to drive, consider flying to Dresden, Hanover, Hamburg or any of the other German travel hubs - with such speedy roads to drive on, you could even pick up a rental as far away as Munich and make a real road trip of it!

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