Cinema is magical. It is the great escape that takes us on adventures we have never experienced before. It gives us a peek into people’s lives, loves and dreams, providing a deeper insight into emotions and relationships. Cinema is also the anchor that grounds us and brings us face to face with realities, enabling us to better understand the world around us and usher in change. It is a remarkable art form that brings together theatre, dance, music, photography and art to create stories that entertain and educate. It has the ability to touch hearts and open minds.
What makes cinema such a compelling medium of mass communication is its lifelike quality. Sitting in a dark hall, we let our guard down and become receptive to the seemingly real world unfolding before us. The spell is cast! We are no longer observers; we enter that world and engage with it. We get to experience other cultures and faraway lands. One can almost smell that loaf of bread baking in a wood-fired oven in Bavaria! That’s the beauty of cinema: It knows no borders. It speaks a universal language.
German cinema has a very long and proud tradition. Babelsberg Studio, located just outside Berlin, is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Several legendary figures like director Fritz Lang, actress Marlene Dietrich and screenwriter Billy Wilder are products of Babelsberg. Even today, major national and international blockbusters are made there. German film-makers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Ernst Lubitsch, Wolfgang Petersen and Wim Wenders are known the world over for their invaluable contribution.
Film festivals dedicated to almost all genres and regions of the world take place in Germany as a celebration of cinema. Bollywood is so popular, it has its very own festival in Stuttgart! And, of course, there’s the Berlinale, the world’s second-largest international film festival. In 2019, it will take place from 7–17 February. So come on over and let cinema and Germany work their magic on you!