Berlinale Blog A day in the life of a Berlinale blogger

Berlinale
Photo: Alexander Janetzko © Berlinale 2015

10 days, 400 films – the Berlinale 2015. I’m here in Berlin covering the films for Goethe.de. What an average day here looks like?

Friday, 6am. I wake up because my short-term flatmates – fellow students from Munich here for the Berlinale too – have to get up and out early. They’ve got student accreditation, which has the decisive drawback of having to queue up from 7am if they want a shot at the most popular screenings. It’s a little more relaxed with my press accreditation, 8.30am will do. I nod to them with a look of commiseration (for which I receive black looks in return) and go back to sleep.

Scrambling for tickets

I make it just in time for the first press screening at 9. There are four movies for me on the programme today: Taxi by Jafar Panahi, Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, 45 Years by Andrew Haigh, and this evening Tom Sommerlatte’s Im Sommer wohnt er unten (Summers Downstairs) from the section called Perspektive Deutsches Kino, i.e. the German cinema showcase. So I’ve got a full schedule today, and my ballpoint is ready to roll!

Between showings I drop in at the Hyatt Hotel in Marlene-Dietrich-Platz, the pickup point for press tickets. I’m running late (I should have shown some solidarity after all and got up early with my flatmates!), so now I start to worry whether I’ll still manage to get tickets for tomorrow. But I’m in luck, I do. Now back to the Berlinale Palace, and fast: the next screening’s about to start. Whilst walking there, I jot down some notes about the 9 o’ clock film I’ve just seen. Quite intriguing to hear what my colleagues think of it too. The house is packed, a golden opportunity to eavesdrop on their conversations before the movie starts (frequently-mentioned favourite for the Bear: Jafar Panahi’s Taxi).

Only the fast ones get in

Whilst the closing credits are still rolling, a flurry of activity breaks out in the cinema: if you want to make it in time for the press conference about the movie, you’re better off, i.e. faster, going on foot. Only those who dash out of the cinema are admitted to the conference room before it’s closed to prevent overcrowding. The disappointed ones who get the door shut in their face can still watch the livecast on the big monitors. I’m in – at least that much is for sure. Then it’s a matter of writing it up: my article’s due tomorrow.

By now it’s evening. The last screening for today, Tom Sommerlatte’s Im Sommer wohnt er unten (Summers Downstairs), is behind me, radiating so much lightheartedness that I head home in high spirits. Now full concentration again: laptop on and write up my copy for the day. By a little after 1 in the morning I’m done. My flatmates (looking even more knackered than I) gradually trickle in. Now I need to sleep, for it’s going to start all over again tomorrow.