Berlin and beyond celebrates 25th festival with theater screenings
Berlin and Beyond may be the only Bay Area film festival to have theatrical screenings in 2020 and 2021.
To pull off this trick, the organizers of the festival, presented by the Goethe-Institut in San Francisco, which hosted their event in February 2020 as they usually do, have postponed the event until May this year. It’s only one day – two movies – at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco, but it still matters.
Add to that two nights of drive-through movies at Fort Mason Flix and the characters from the 25th Berlin and beyond to be a fun and unexpected in-person start to the summer festival season.
“It was a wish to have him in the movie set due to the vaccine rollout,” said Sophoan Sorn, who is in his 11th year as festival director. “We want to be part of the reopening and the excitement of being back in the cinema and seeing movies on the big screen at a festival.”
The six-day event opens on Tuesday, May 25 at the Waterfront Pop-Up Theater, with ‘Sisters Apart’, about a German soldier, a Kurdish-born, who searches for his missing sister as she trains women soldiers in Iraq.
The day at Vogue on Saturday, May 29 features a couple of fantastic films: “Undine”, the latest thriller from famous director Christian Petzold; and Burhan Qurbani’s epic reimagining of Alfred Döblin’s iconic 1929 novel “Berlin Alexanderplatz”, which Rainer Werner Fassbinder filmed as a television series in 1980.
However, most of the festival films will be shown online until Sunday, May 30.
A second day of cinema at Fort Mason Flix on Wednesday May 26 will be highlighted by a 20th anniversary screening of “Nowhere in Africa”, which pays tribute to director Caroline Link, who will virtually receive the career award of the festival. .
A treat for longtime festival goers is a tribute to founder Ingrid Eggers, who retired in 2010 and selected Petzold’s 2007 film “Yella” to follow a special virtual tribute.
“She laid the foundation for this festival,” said Sorn, “and now Berlin and beyond is San Francisco’s biggest film festival that focuses on European films.”
Last year, after a full-fledged festival in early February before the pandemic hit, Sorn flew to attend the Berlin Film Festival in search of films. Upon his return, the Bay Area was on lockdown.
Sorn said when his colleagues initially set the dates for the 2021 festival, they weren’t sure they could book a movie theater. Berlin hosted a small virtual event in November and February – when the number of pandemics was still high – would be too soon.
The festival has not completed its plans for the 2022 festival, but it will likely return to the winter calendar and hopefully be an all-in-person festival.
“We are impatient. We want to invite filmmakers, directors and people to participate in the festival. They are tired of virtual participation, ”Sorn said, adding that he was eager to see what new films might be available. “A lot of (filmmakers) come back to (production) shoots, because things happen again.”
25th Berlin Film Festival and Beyond
What: Film festival in German and German presented by the Goethe-Institut in San Francisco.
When: Tuesday to Sunday, May 25 to 30.
Or: Online and at the Fort Mason Flix drive-through and at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco.
Fort Mason Flix screenings: “Sisters Apart” (opening night, Tuesday, May 25; $ 50 to $ 100 per vehicle); Anniversary screenings of “Lessons of a Dream” and “Nowhere in Africa” (Wednesday, May 26; $ 50 per vehicle).
Vogue Theater Screenings: “Undine” and “Berlin Alexanderplatz” (Saturday May 29; $ 14).
Tickets: Virtual screenings and on-demand movies cost $ 11 each. For tickets and information, visit berlinbeyond.com/25.