The 58th Berlin International Film Festival comes to a glamorous close with the Award Ceremony on Saturday, February 16. 1.600 guests are invited to the ceremony in the Berlinale Palast where, from 7 pm onwards, the International Jury, presided by jury president Costa-Gavras, will announce the winners of the Golden and the Silver Bears, as well as the Best First Feature Award. The performance of jazz trumpeter Till Brönner will be the highlight of the evening’s musical programme, moderator Katrin Bauerfeind will host the award ceremony.
In addition to the prize-winners, the director of the closing film Be Kind Rewind, Michel Gondry, will also be attending this glamorous event. Further illustrious guests of the evening include: Alexander Kluge, Christian Petzold, Volker Schlöndorff, Wim Wenders, Hiam Abbas, Mario Adorf, Meret Becker, Iris Berben, Martina Gedeck, Sibel Kekilli, Nicolette Krebitz, Peter Lohmeyer, Heike Makatsch, Maria Schrader, Sabine Timoteo, Juan Luis Buñuel, Jürgen Vogel, Francesco Rosi, Jessica Schwarz, Oskar Roehler, Katrin Saß, Christian Ulmen, August Diehl, Chris Kraus, Vanessa Jopp, Brian De Palma, as well as the Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, President of the Berlin House of Representatives Walter Momper and state secretary André Schmitz amongst others.
During the past eleven days, after a fabulous opening with the Rolling Stones and master director Martin Scorsese on February 7, 383 films were shown in a total of 1.256 screenings. The most popular programme highlights were Scorsese’s Shine a Light, Madonna’s directorial debut Filth and Wisdom and Om Shanti Om with Bollywood mega-star Shah Rukh Khan.
Interest in the Berlinale among visitors from both the film industry and the general public has been greater than ever: more than 20.000 accredited visitors from 125 countries, including 4.200 journalists, attended the festival. Approximately 430.000 cinema goers have attended the 58th Berlin International Film Festival, including roughly 230.000 audience tickets. On Sunday 17th there is going to be a further treat for the public audiences: numerous festival films from all sections will be re-screened on the Berlinale Kinotag.
The special series Eat Drink See Movies – Celebrating Culinary Cinema at the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant again enjoyed great popularity. The Babylon cinema, the new screening venue of the Generation 14plus section, was extremely well received by audiences. The screenings were almost 100% booked out.
The Berlinale merchandising products - bags, mugs, teddy bears, t-shirts and caps, amongst others – were again extremely popular with the festival goers.
The European Film Market (EFM), the main event for the film industry at the Berlin International Film Festival, continues to expand, in quantity and in quality.
“It was a Berlinale of music, grand emotions, and great artists. The groove was good, and Berlin this year was not cold but cool”, says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.
The 59th Berlin International Film Festival will be held from 5 – 15 February 2009.
February 16, 2008