Berlin International Film Festival the first European festival of the year

by Bob Deutsch

Berlin International Film Festival the first European festival of the year

The 63rd annual Berlin International Film Festival will take place this year in Germany. According to the festival website, it will run from February 7 – 17 and will feature over 400 films, many of which will be premiers from around the world.

This year, the festival expects more than 300,000 attendees from about 120 different countries. Of the American films being screened, “Promised Land,” with Matt Damon and “Side Effects” starring Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones will both be premiered.

But one of the most notable movies of this year is “Dark Blood,” featuring the late River Phoenix. The film was in the making when Phoenix died in 1993, and took nearly two decades for Dutch director George Sluizer to complete. According to the Hollywood Reporter, in the film “Phoenix plays Boy, a young man living in the desert of a nuclear testing site who rescues and then holds hostage a Hollywood jet-set couple whose car breaks down nearby.” Dark Blood was previously shown at the Dutch Film Festival in September of last year, but will be making its international debut at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Other films that were previously screened at the Sundance Film Festival will also be making their way to the BIFF, including “Before Midnight” and “Prince Avalanche,” starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirch.

The number of attendees at the Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals, as well as the overall growing popularity in film festivals overall, suggest the need for many to be both competitive as well as allow for large volumes of ticket holders. When using citywide theaters and venues, outdoor movie screens can also help provide additional screening options to widen areas that can be used to show films. With more screens, festivals can increase their competitive edge and accommodate more audience members.

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