Berlinale 2015: Our Top 10 Most Anticipated Films

The red carpet is soon to be rolled out once again as Berlin hosts the 65th edition of the world’s largest public film festival—Berlinale. This international film festival spans 11 days, from February 5th until the 15th, and is the first cinema showcase in Europe each year. This year, their program boasts more than 400 films, coming from a vast variety of backgrounds. Some recurring themes include subversion, human rights, gender equality, politics and existentialism, the majority of which are explored through poignant documentaries. Dieter Kosslick, the festival director, claims that many of these films put the focus on “strong women in extreme situations.” (However, out of the 23 Competition films, only 3 feature female filmmakers.) There will also be tons of opportunities for celebrity sightings around Potsdamer Platz, with Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emma Watson, Cate Blanchett, Helen Mirren, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman and many more set to attend.

Ticket sales for select screenings started February 2nd, with more tickets to be released 2-3 days prior to each screening. Not sure which films to watch? We put together a list of our top 10 most anticipated films this year! Click on to see which movies made the cut.

1) Queen of the Desert (Werner Herzog)

One of the most well known German filmmakers out there, Werner Herzog holds a special place in my heart. Somehow, his narratives of death bring us unbridled optimism, while his documentaries of a harsh reality act as a reminder to the fragility of life. Queen of the Desert, Herzog’s first feature since 2009, tells the story of explorer, historian, novelist and member of the British secret service, Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman). Using a breathtaking desert backdrop, the landscapes pave way into the characters’ souls.


Fri Feb 06 18:45 – Berlinale Palast

Sat Feb 07 9:30/12:00/21:00 – Zoo Palast/Friedrichstadt-Palast

Sun Feb 15 10:00– Friedrichstadt-Palast

2) Everything Will Be Fine 3D (Wim Wenders)

This year, German filmmaker Wim Wenders is set to have an homage featuring 10 films that span his career screening during the festival. On top of that, he will be receiving an Honorary Golden Bear for his life’s work, he is scheduled for a talk with Rainer Rother, and of course, premiering his latest film (in 3D), Everything Will Be Fine. Set over the course of 12 years, this film follows Tomas (James Franco) on his search for forgiveness after a tragic accident, revealing the healing power of courage over time.


Tue Feb 10 21:00 – Berlinale Palast

Wed Feb 11 13:00 – Zoo Palast

Fri Feb 13 21:30 – Haus der Berliner Festpiele

3) Taxi (Jafar Panahi)

Banned in 2009 in his native country of Iran, Jafar Panahi has been secretly making three films, the third of which is premiering at this year’s Berlinale. Taxi is a story set in Tehran, with diversity in the passengers and the views they express when interviewed by Panahi himself. Through the lens of his dashboard camera, we get a glimpse into the spirit of Iranian society through this comedic and dramatic drive.


Fri Feb 06 16:00 – Berlinale Palast

Sat Feb 07 9:30/12:30/18:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palast/Haus der Berliner Festspiele/Friedrichstadt-Palast

Sun Feb 15 14:30 – Haus der Berliner Festpiele

4) Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick)

Award-winning director Terrence Malick is back at Berlinale with his 7th feature, Knight of Cups. This story accompanies a tormented Hollywood hero on his search for meaning as he spirals into despair and the emptiness of his life. Malick’s symphonic flow of images contrasts the cold architecture with the ageless beauty of nature.


Sun Feb 08 19:00 – Berlinale Palast

Mon Feb 09 12:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Wed Feb 11 09:30 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Fri Feb 13 15:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palas

Sun Feb 15 13:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

5) The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer)

Joshua Oppenheimer, one of the jury members at this year’s festival, is premiering the follow up to his eerily stunning documentary, The Act of Killing, as part of the Berlinale Special. Still set in Indonesia, The Look of Silence turns its focus to the victims this time, documenting the horror of an unacknowledged collective crime.


Sun Feb 08  15:00 –  Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Mon Feb 09 18:00 – Cubix 8

6) Nobody Wants the Night (Isabel Coixet)

Set in 1908 Greenland, Josephine is a bold and confident woman who embarks on a dangerous journey in pursuit of her husband, famous Arctic explorer Robert Peary, who is seeking a route to the North Pole. Filmmaker Isabel Coixet beautifully depicts a woman who proves her courage and readiness to take risks in life-threatening situations.


Thu Feb 05 20:30 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Fri Feb 06 12:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Fri Feb 06 19:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Fri Feb 15 13:00 – CinemaxX 7

7) Cha Và Con Và (Phan Dang Di)

Another film in Competition this year is Cha Và Con Và, or Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories. In his magical love story of tabooed homosexuality, Phan Dang Di depicts Saigon in the late nineties. Photography student Vu becomes fascinated by his charismatic young roommate, Thang, but things get complicated when they are forced to flee Vu’s village, and Vu’s father introduces him to his prospective wife.


Fri Feb 13 16:00 – Berlinale Palast

Sat Feb 14 09:30 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Sat Feb 14 12:30 – Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Sat Feb 14 17:30 – Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Sat Feb 15 12:00 – Haus der Berliner Festspiele

8) Sworn Virgin (Laura Bispuri)

In her debut feature film, Laura Bispuri tells the painful story of a young woman’s journey of discovery, growing up in an archaic alpine landscape in Albania, where old codes and traditional gender roles prevail. In Hana’s emotional life, she loses freedom and has to fight to rediscover her own sexuality.


Thu Feb 12 19:00 – Berlinale Palast

Fri Feb 13 12:00 – Friedrichstadt-Palast

Fri Feb 13 19:00 – Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Fri Feb 13 21:00 – Friedrichstadt_Palast

9) Nasty Baby (Sebastián Silva)

Following his eccentric and compassionate adventure-comedy about a magical herb, Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus, Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva brings us his newest feature: Nasty Baby. This is the story of Freddy, an artist whose desire for a baby has become something of an obsession. Him, along with his friends, encounters a series of surprising events that drive them into losing their grip on reality.


Sun Feb 08  21:30 – Zoo Palast 1

Mon Feb 09 13:00 – CinemaxX 7

Tue Feb 10  17:00 – Cubix 9

Sat Feb 14  22:30 – CinemaxX 7

10) I Am Michael (Justin Kelly)

Justin Kelly’s film, part of the Panorama Special and featuring a star-studded cast, portrays San Francisco in 1988. Queer activist Michael is constantly redefining his own existence in an effort to belong, while absorbing a young Tyler into his long-term relationship with his friend Bennett. Juxtapozing various periods of time to depict Michael Glatze (co-founder of Young Gay American magazine and inspirational figure in the queer community), I Am Michael is a sensitive directorial debut.


Mon Feb 09 18:30 – Zoo Palast 1

Tue Feb 10 15:30 – CinemaxX 7

Wed Feb 11 14:30 – Cubix 9

Sat Feb 14 23:00 – Cubix 8

Sat Feb 14 23:00 – Cubix 7

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