Berlin: the Festival season begins

Posted on Thu 5 Feb 2015
Knight of Cups

The 65th edition of the Berlin Film Festival - Europe's first major cinema showcase of the year - has begun. Our Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove (@msc45) is there searching for films, partnership, opportunities and events to bring back to Bristol and the UK, and you can keep up to date with all his latest thoughts on the programme in real time through Twitter.

Berlin has a very different character to other festivals like Cannes, Venice and Toronto. Although it may not have the glitz of the south of France (stars freezing on the red carpet in Potsdamer Platz isn't as glam as the Croisette, we imagine), it's one of the most significant, and serious, festivals of the year. It consistently rewards the unconventional, international fare, and that's why it's one of the most interesting to attend.

This year sees new films from Terrence Malick (Knight of Cups, starring Christian Bale trying to make sense of a weird Hollywood), Werner Herzog (Queen of the Desert, a biopic of the "female Lawrence of Arabia" Gertrude Bell) and Jafar Panahi, who has defied the Iranian authorities ban from filmmaking with his latest film Taxi.

Jafar Panahi - Taxi

They'll all be competing for the festival's top prize, the Golden Bear, with Darren Aronofsky tasked with heading the jury that bestows the great honour.

Things are eclectic to say the least out of competition, too - there's Ian McKellen in a revisionist version of Sherlock (he plays a 90 year old version of the famous detective), Kenneth Branagh's live action version of Cinderella and a little whipping boy of a film called Fifty Shades of Grey.

Last year Mark saw Oscar®-nominees (and Bristol favourites) The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood, so it's a great hunting ground for great new films.

Mark will be tweeting his instant responses to the film's he's been seeing along with Maddy Probst, our Programme Producer, on #shedbff throughout the Festival. Check on Twitter using the hashtag or visit this page to see what they rate, what they hate, and everything in between.

Don't be shy - if you have a question or comment about any element of the Festival's programme just drop them a line on Twitter - they'll be more than happy to answer and want to hear your thoughts. They're there for ten days after all - plenty of time to get into a conversation!