Berlin is quickly becoming something of a Mecca for students of the arts, and of film in particular. This cultural capital is alive and practically crackling with creative energy, so it’s no wonder that students flock here from all over the world.
What many don’t realize is that Berlin actually boasts quite a history of Filmmaking. There are a surprising number of independent film houses in the city, with over 300 new films being produced here each year. While big cinemas edged out the independent houses for a time, the film houses and the film industry are making a comeback.
Interestingly, the German government is all for film production. In fact, they even offer special tax and financial incentives for film makers who shoot their productions in Berlin. For this very reason, many major film corporations have picked Germany as the backdrop for their films.
You’ll find a fascinating array of events and locations to visit while you’re here, but make sure you’ve got plenty of time. However, whether your stay is short or long it’s easy to find accommodation in Berlin Germany while you explore this truly interesting aspect of the city’s history and culture.
To get you started on the right foot, here are a few places you’ll definitely want on your agenda:
While you may not plan on studying film in Germany just yet, there are two excellent film schools in Germany that are making their mark on the world of film production. The DFFB (Deutsche Film und Fernsehakademie Berlin/German Film and Television Academy Berlin) has gained a strong reputation as one of the best film schools in Germany. The University of Applied Sciences also has some excellent audiovisual media and cinematography courses.
The Berlin Film Museum
Before you jump into studying, however, take a trip back through the history of film at the Berlin Film Museum. You’ll find the film and television museum along with the German Film Archive at the Sony Centre at Potsdamer Platz. Over 1000 exhibits are housed in the museum’s 13 halls, and you’ll be fascinated by the huge range of costumes, props and full movie sets. The museum also pays tribute to the historical and technological developments in the world of film.
Any film buffs visiting Berlin simply have to take a trip through the Babelsberg Film Studio. It was founded in 1912, making it the oldest large film studio in the world. Babelsberg has hosted many blockbuster films on the 25,000 square meters of its production facility. Films like the Bourne Ultimatum, Hanna, and The Pianist were filmed in part or entirely on the Babelsberg facilities. If you’re lucky, you might see some actual filming taking place, but if not, there are still some great shows, stunt events, and displays to keep you fully entertained.
To round out your film experience in Berlin, you should definitely check out the Lichtblick Kino. This tiny movie theater is the smallest in Berlin with only one screening room and just a few rows of seats, so it’ll give you a good feel for the small, independent film houses.