1. The Berlinale was established in 1951, initially taking place in the summer, but since 1978 in the month of February.
2. Together with the film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Locarno the film festival in Berlin belongs to the list of International A-festivals.
3. The Berlinale is the largest public festival worldwide: In 2014 more than 325,000 tickets were sold.
4. Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick is a foodie. In 2000 he published “Das Buch Bagel: ein Gebäck rollt um die Welt” (“The Bagel Book: a pastry that’s rolled around the world”). At the Berlinale he launched the “Culinary Theatre”, where current full-length films about food and ecology are shown and the menus from top European kitchens are served: Here street food comes together with discussions about food, culture and politics.
5. Throughout the different sections of the 2015 Berlinale there are in total 441 films shown – which means, measured over the 10 day duration of the festival, on average 40.1 films per day.
6. An international jury awards the best film the Golden Bear, plus giving other films different secondary prizes (called Silver Bears).
7. The most successful nationalities at the Berlinale to date are directors from The United States (13 wins), then France (8), Great Britain (7), Germany, Spain and Italy (each with 6).
8. The last German director to win the Golden Bear was Fatih Akin in 2004 with “Head-On”.
9. To date, female directors have only managed to bring home the Golden Bear four times: in 1975 the Hungarian Márta Mészáros (“Adoption”), 1977 the soviet director Larissa Schepitko (“The Ascent”), 2006 the Bosnian Jasmila Žbanić (“Gbravica: The Land of my Dreams”), 2009 the Peruvian Claudia Llosa (“The Milk of Sorrow”).
10. 2015 will be the first time the Berlinale will also feature TV-series, among them are the “Breaking Bad”-spinoff “Better Call Saul” (USA) and the new series from the makers of “Borgen” called “Follow the Money” (Denmark).
11. Dieter Kosslick has picked the motto of the 2015 Berlinale to be: “Strong women in extreme situations”.
12. The film adaptation of the erotic-bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey” by British female director Sam Taylor-Johnson is not competing at the 2015 Berlinale, but shown at the “Berlinale Special Gala.”
Translated from German.
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