The Berlinale is for Germany what the Oscars are for Hollywood. Stars and starlets, culture and commerce, glitter and glamour at a festival of distinction that attracts over 400,000 film fans, 20,000 industry professionals, 4,000 journalists and as many as 400 films, mostly world and European premieres.
Looking for the A-list? Then it has to be the Berlinale. In the exclusive club of A-list film festivals, which includes Cannes, Venice and Locarno, it's Berlin that draws the biggest audiences. Maybe that's because it's less elitist than the rest or because the mix is spot on: films of every genre, length and format, high-profile international films going head to head, independent and arthouse productions, films for younger audiences, promising newcomers in German cinema, a focus on far-flung film-making countries, experimental films and an exploration of new cinematic possibilities in the Berlinale Shorts. The programme always includes a retrospective and a homage honouring the life's work of a famous film personality. There's also a series of events which go deeper into themes, make new connections, open up new perspectives and explore the medium of film in the context of other creative disciplines. The German capital is a cosmopolitan cultural showcase with extraordinary pulling power – and the Berlinale sits in pride of place. Another reason to visit Berlin again and again.