Lifestyle & Culture

Dispatches’ Berlin weekend events guide 9 February thru 12 February

Forget Hollywood. Forget the Oscars. Berlin is the place to be for film lovers this weekend with both the International Film Festival Berlin and the Berlin Independent Film Festival.

You can also practice your dance moves at the Valentine Dance Festival, join a flash mob or attend Berlin’s biggest indoor track and field event this weekend.

Later this month the Academy will award the Oscars for this year’s best movies, actors, directors and screenwriters in Hollywood, but before that the jury of Berlinale, Berlin’s International Film Festival, will award Golden and Silver Bears.

There are literally hundreds of films you can watch over the next week with two major film festivals starting in Berlin this weekend.

• International Film Festival Berlin

When: 9 February – 19 February
Where: Several locations across Berlin. See all venues
Tickets: Tickets are available through the event’s

This Thursday, the 67 edition of Berlinale, the International Film Festival in Berlin, kicks off with the world premiere of the French biopic “Django.” 

The film is Etienne Comar’s directorial debut and tells the story of guitarist and composer Django Reinhardt who had to flee German-occupied Paris in 1943.

The 10-day film festival features 400 movies in different genres as well as panel discussions, workshops and parties.

A jury led by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven will decide which films, actors and directors will receive the Golden and Silver Bears, the film festival’s awards.

If you can’t make it in person, the live feed on Youtube is here.


• Berlin Independent Film Festival

BIFF2016-BabylonKino-PlakatA1When: 9 February – 15 February
Where: Babylon Theatre, Berlin
Tickets: Tickets are available at the Babylon box office

The Berlin Independent Film Festival runs at the same time as the International Film Festival in Berlin, but the two events are not connected.

The Berlin Independent Film Festival offers new filmmakers a chance to show their work at the Babylon cinema in Berlin.

The festival focuses on independent films made with a small budget. Awards are presented in different categories among which are ‘Best Feature,’ ‘Best No-budget Feature,’ ‘Best Female Director Feature,’ ‘Best Documentary’ and ‘Best LGTB Film.’


• Flashmob Brandenburger Tor

16426035_1880326862179658_569349534593138880_nWhen: 11 February, 4 p.m.
Where: In front of the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)

Sorry to ruin the surprise, but if you happen to be wandering around Berlin’s most famous symbol, the Brandenburg Gate, this weekend you may run into an impromptu performance of John Lennon’s Imagine.

Solinar, a non-profit organization aiming to help refugees and strengthen solidarity, is organizing the singing flashmob.


On their Facebook event page, they posted the following:

Faced with worldwide terror attacks, wars and ever deeper divisions in society, we are often left speechless. That’s why we want to come together to sing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ on the 11th of February in front of the Brandenburger Tor as a symbol of peace and solidarity.

Valentine Dance Festival

www_banner_homeWhen: 9 February – 13 February
Where: AVZ Event Center, Berlin
Tickets: Online sales have ended, but tickets are still available at the door. Check all prices at the event’s website.

Valentine’s Day is not for another couple of days but that does not mean that you cannot celebrate the holiday this weekend.

With dancing!

The Valentine Dance Festival offers dance parties, workshops, boot camps and above all a change to get together with friends to dance the night away.

The Valentine Dance Festival’s program features classes and workshops in salsa, kizomba, zouk brasilero and bachata.

Dancers from all around the world attend the festival to teach you their dance moves. There are workshops and boot camps available on every level. From beginner to advanced.

ISTAF Indoor

When: 10 February, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
Tickets: Tickets sell at €13.60 and are available here

Some of the world’s best athletes will participate in different track and field events at the fourth edition of the ISTAF Indoor at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin this weekend.

In the last two years the event, which is held at an arena that seats 12.650, was completely sold out. The indoor track and field event features competitions in sprinting, long jump, pole vault, hurdling and discus.

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