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The Berlinale from Hamburg
by Becky Tan

How can I experience the Berlinale without leaving Hamburg? Perhaps you are curious but haven’t reached the point where a trip to Berlin is tempting or even doable. In Hamburg the CinemaxX Cinema at Dammtor Bahnhof sold tickets to view the opening night on Thursday, March 20, live on their big screen. We saw comments from attendees on the red carpet in front of the Berlinale Palast Cinema and then the opening film, MY SALINGER YEAR. It was almost like being present personally, all in English with German subtitles. Naturally, one could stay at home and watch this same presentation on3sat television.

As the festival progressed, information was available every day at, in English (click EN). We could get all information and online screenings about each film, the various sections such as Competition, Panorama, Forum, Generation, etc. There were online interviews with actors and directors. One could spend several hours each day, following up on the activities in Berlin.

Also, 3sat TV continued to present Berlinale news every night on television at 19:20 and again shortly after midnight. Local newspapers such as the Hamburger Abendblatt and Die Welt reported every day. We could also buy Berlin newspapers in Hamburg such as Berliner Morgenpost or Berliner Tagesspiegel. For more information in English, one could google one’s favorite newspaper.

Perhaps one could not see the films per online streaming, but, hopefully, many will open in Hamburg, when local cinemas reopen after the Corona Pandemic has ceased. We can expect BERLIN ALEXANDERLATZ, SIBERIA, ONWARD, EXIL, SCHLINGENSIEF – IN DAS SCHWEIGEN HINEINSCHREIEN, UNDINE, and PERSIAN LESSONS, just to name a few.

While in CinemaxX, I asked the people in charge if they were going to show the award ceremony and the winning film on Saturday, March 1. They regretted that they would not. Perhaps it would be too short term to set up a winning film without knowing in advance which one it would be. Perhaps, in this day of rapid internet, they will eventually figure it out to present live on their big screen.