Timelapse photo depicting the skyline of Berlin including the River Spree, TV tower and Nikolaiviertel by Stefan Widua.

BIMM Cities / filmmaking

5 reasons why Berlin is the best place to study film in Europe

12th May 2022

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Are you looking to study film in Europe? Why not consider studying in Berlin! From its fascinating history to the wealth of funding opportunities for filmmakers, here are 5 reasons why Berlin is  the best place to study film in Europe.


1. Berlin has a unique history and culture

Image of the East Side Gallery section of the Berlin wall. A yellow bike sits in the foreground with the street-art covered wall behind.

Photo by Yc Liao

In Berlin, inspiration for filmmakers is never lacking. While the dark events of the 20th century certainly left their mark across German society, they also left incredible stories of bravery in the face of the greatest of evils – many yet to be told.

But Berlin today is more than its complicated history. Each year, millions of people from all over the world are drawn to this creative metropolis, helping the city to look forward to the future while never forgetting its tragic past. With people from all walks of life, a bustling cultural scene and some stand out fashion, creatives are never short for inspiration.

2. The architecture is inspiring

Alexanderplatz and the TV tower by Sven Mashur. Widely considered a great place to make films in Berlin

Photo by Sven Masuhr

As a result of Berlin’s history, the city is awash with different architectural styles and aesthetics. From Neo-renaissance and Bauhaus to Brutalism and Modernism, the city is home to hundreds of examples of eye-catching architecture. It’s no wonder that so many directors have been drawn here to shoot their productions. Messedamm underpass, Alexanderplatz and Friedrichstrasse are but just a few of many locations which have inspired filmmakers across the globe. Want to find out what films have been shot where in Berlin? Check out our blog on Berlin’s iconic film locations!

3. Hollywood looks – and has always looked – to Berlin

Cinemagoers facing towards a cinema screen

Photo by Jake Hills

Since the 1920s, Germany has been a key player on the international film stage. The world’s first large-scale film studio, Babelsberg Film Studio, lies just outside Berlin. Since its conception, Babelsberg has been a place of creation and inspiration for many of the industry’s most prominent directors such as Wes Anderson and Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, Hitchcock even once said, “Everything I had to know about filmmaking I learned in Babelsberg.”

Beyond the world class facilities found at Babelsberg, Berlin is also home to dozens of film festivals each year. From smaller, independent short film festivals to the grand Berlinale, opportunities for filmmakers to get their films screened are numerous. Festivals also often have exclusive networking events, bringing up-and-coming talent, seasoned directors and industry professionals together in one space.

Want to discover some of the film festivals Berlin has to offer? Check out our blog!

4. Filmmakers have access to generous funding opportunities

Photo by Brands&People that depicts a film set

Photo by Brands&People

Part of the reason why the Berlin film industry is booming is the accessibility of funding for filmmakers. Through funds like Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), The German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF), there are multiple pots filmmakers can access to get their projects off the ground whether you are new to filmmaking or a seasoned veteran. Each fund has its own rigorous application process, so if you are looking to apply for funding, it is always best to refer to the terms and conditions on their respective websites.

5. Creating film in Berlin is a collaborative process

Photo by Jose P. Ortiz that depicts the collaboration between a filmmaker and a guitarist. In the foreground is the filmmaker holding a gimble and in the background the guitarist wears a green tshirt and strums the guitar

Photo by Jose P. Ortiz

Berlin sees strong representation from every single creative industry and that means the lines between different types of art can quickly become blurred. Collaborative projects are the lifeblood of this creative city, something which has long drawn filmmakers to Berlin. As they collaborate with musicians, artists, designers and more, filmmakers can quickly build up a strong creative network. Not only that, filmmakers can rely on this network for support and advice as they build up their screen portfolio.

 

So, what do you think? Could Berlin the right place for you to start your filmmaking career?


If you agree that Berlin is the best place in Europe to study film, why not study it at BIMM Institute Berlin? Get yourself ready for the industry of today and tomorrow with our BA (Hons) Filmmaking course. Our Admissions Team is here to support you throughout your application. Reach out to them via email [email protected], give them a call at +49 (0)30 311 99 186, or chat with them through LiveChat.

Header image by Stefan Widua

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