Berlin / filmmaking / Location Spotlight / The Industry


15th March 2024

The Berlinale is Berlin’s international film festival that takes place in February each year. For filmmaking and acting students at BIMM University Berlin, this is a prime opportunity to get stuck into all the Berlin film industry has to offer.

Aid is a first-year Acting for Stage, Screen and Digital Media student and this is his experience of the Berlinale.

Getting Berlinale tickets

At the start of the festival, as so many people do, I had trouble securing tickets. I woke up earlier and earlier, only to time and again discover that the events that I was interested in had already been sold out. This was quite frustrating, but I did what I could to retain my calm and to just “trust the process.” Fortunately, this attitude paid off.

Initially, I had narrowed the extensive list of movies that intrigued me down to eight. I sought to see four in the first week (Small Things Like These; The Outrun; Another End; In Liebe, Eure Hilde) and four in the second week (Reproduktion; Black Tea; Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger; Gloria!). In theory, it appeared to be a well-constructed plan of action. I quickly realized, however, that in practice it was perhaps a tad too ambitious for an acting student with a tightly packed school schedule combined with the desire to stay happy and healthy.

The films I saw

The first film I saw was Small Things Like These, an adaptation of a book written by Claire Keegan with the same title. I consider myself lucky to have managed to get a ticket, and the saying ‘right place, right time’ is most definitely appropriate here. I arrived early and took a seat in one of the top rows from which I had no trouble following the simple but deep story that pulled me in and only released me at the very end. It also enabled me to observe people as they entered the venue, which I am aware sounds ridiculously actor-y.

I watched Reproduktion. My interest about the theme of the documentary – being a mother and having an artistic career – was piqued by a conversation I had with a woman who I hold in high regard. One of my friends was interested as well so we decided to go “ins kino” together. Reproduktion was all about three different women, same family but different generations, who all studied at the same art school in Hamburg. After they had given birth, each chose to pursue a different path: staying home, working full-time as a single parent and dividing responsibilities equally between partners.

Gloria! was the final Berlinale film I had the pleasure of viewing. This tale, set somewhere near Venice in the year 1800 , revolves around a composer who cannot compose and five musically talented girls who obviously can. The main actor played the part of the old chapel master – struggling to create a new piece to be presented to the Pope during his impending visit – in such a serious manner that the actresses moving around him appeared to have all the liberty in the world to play and have fun together. I loved the role given to music.

All in all, I had an amazing time at this year’s Berlinale. I am already looking forward with great anticipation and curiosity to the 75th edition next year.

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