Berlinale: Berlinale Special & Berlinale Series

Berlinale Special & Berlinale Series

Glamour and popular films in the Gala Premieres, in-depth debates at the panel discussions, a spotlight on current topics, unusual formats and the honouring of extraordinary film personalities – Berlinale Special is one of the festival’s most versatile programmes.

Footloose and fancy-free, spontaneous and up-to-date – a diversity of forms shines in the Berlinale Special. Originating from the special screenings which became affiliated with the Competition in 1984, from 2004 the section has offered an abundant and colourful selection of films and events and it uncovers many treasures every year. Berlinale Special is flexible and also characterised by its unusual venues: even the Brandenburg Gate can be transformed into a cinema.

The Berlinale Special gala premieres bring glamour and excitement to the Friedrichstadt-Palast, giving audiences the chance to experience popular international films and their stars up close on the Red Carpet.

In the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, films requiring an intense level of engagement can be deliberated upon in post-screening panel discussions. Films capturing current world events to powerful effect are put into a wider context and discussed together with the filmmakers.

Over the years, Berlinale Special has also established itself as a space for reflection on film, its history and adjacent art forms. Many films in the programme explore the origins of particular film trends, focus on film history or portray directors and other artists. And, with the films in Berlinale Special, the Berlinale honours great film personalities whose work is particularly close to the festival’s heart.

The Berlinale Special is curated by the Artistic Director of the Berlinale, Carlo Chatrian, supported by a selection committee.

Press Conferences for the Gala Premieres are streamed live and then available on-demand. Selected panel discussions from the Haus der Berliner Festspiele are also recorded and made available online. Recordings of previous editions from Berlinale Special can be found in the archive.

Berlinale Series

Berlinale Series offers audiences an exclusive first look on the big screen at the most exciting new series productions and the latest developments in serial storytelling from around the world.

With Berlinale Series, the Berlinale was early to recognise the changing desires and viewing habits of its audience and was the first A-festival worldwide to give them an independent platform. Series have long demonstrated that the “cinematic” and its aesthetics can be refreshed, tried out and succeed in many forms and across many channels. Berlinale Series makes it possible to enjoy these productions as a cinematic audiovisual event on the big screen.

Berlinale Series has its home at the Zoo Palast in the heart of the city. There, the Red Carpet is rolled out for world and international premieres to pay fitting tribute to the casts and crews. Over three days, it presents big names and as yet undiscovered talents who are reinventing and celebrating this format with sophisticated and innovative storytelling.

Taking place alongside the festival premieres are the “Drama Series Days”, a conference platform and marketplace for the industry which goes hand in hand with Berlinale Series.

Berlinale Series is an independent programme within Berlinale Special. The content and organisational aspects are managed by the head of Berlinale Series, Solmaz Azizi.

Berlinale Special

Programme Coordination
Wilhelm Faber
Potsdamer Platz 11
10785 Berlin
phone +49 30 25920-222
fax +49 30 25920-229

Berlinale Series

Head of Berlinale Series
Solmaz Azizi
phone +49 30 25920-913

Programme Coordination
Judith Klein
phone +49 30 25920-912