“And… Action!” – Berlin in the Leading Role
Berlin – In February, Berlin just celebrated the 61st International Film Festival. The Berlinale, one of the largest public film festivals in the entire world, was once again visited by the VIPs this year. International stars such as Oscar-winner Colin Firth, Madonna, and Diane Kruger, the leading actress in the new Berlin action thriller “Unknown”, strolled across the red carpet at the Potsdamer Platz and presented their latest film productions in the German capital. The Berlinale may be the largest, but it is only one of around sixty other film festivals in the cinematic paradise of Berlin. Every month is festival month here. The selection covers all areas of film, every genre, and a wide variety of international cinema. Coming up next, film fans should take note of the “achtung berlin – new berlin film award” festival from April 13 to 20, 2011, the main focus of which will be films created in the Berlin area. Around eighty current feature films, documentaries, and shorts may be seen, including numerous Berlin, German, and world premieres!
It may well happen to visitors to the city that during their sightseeing tour, they find themselves all of a sudden in the midst of the next big blockbuster being shot. The film metropolis is booming – seldom has there been so much shooting going on before! Around three thousand location permits are granted in Berlin every year. Well-known producers and stars love Berlin as a multifaceted film set. In the “Bourne” trilogy, Matt Damon was chased around the Alexanderplatz. In the action thriller “Unknown” with Liam Neeson which has only just been released, a taxi crashes off of the Oberbaumbrücke bridge. And a few weeks ago, Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan found the suitable surroundings here for his film “Don 2”, which is scheduled for worldwide release in early 2012. It was shot in an original Berlin double-decker bus, at the East Side Gallery, and at the Berlin Cathedral. In spite of the autumnal chill, Khan had only words of praise for the city: “I love Berlin! The last two weeks didn’t feel like work at all, more like a holiday.”
But even off the movie set, this capital of cinema offers abundant possibilities to spot the stars, whether at one of the major film premiers at the CineStar in the Sony Center, in one of the currently “in” restaurants, or at the “Boulevard der Stars” along Potsdamer Straße, which opened in September 2010. The “Monument for the Cinematic City of Berlin” is modeled after the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. But in any case, the Berlin variation offers something special: visitors can even be photographed with their favorite stars. An interactive reflection effect makes it possible to pose for a vacation photo side-by-side with German actors such as Hildegard Knef or Mario Adorf.
Picture: Berlin Tourism Marketing