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The best events in Germany this February

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Despite the cold weather, February is a surprisingly great time of year to travel to Germany, with a wide range of exciting events and exhibitions to see.

Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival)

20th February – 1st March 2020, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

Berlinale Palast. Photo: Tuluqaruk via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Berlinale is one of the most famous and esteemed film festivals, often considered to be in the same category as the Venice Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival. This year marks the 70th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival, where, for 11 days, world-famous stars will walk along the red carpets rolled out at the cinema at Potsdamer Platz and neighbouring theatres to attend international premieres.

Up to 400 films are shown across various cinematic sections. These sections include ‘Competition’, ‘Panorama’ (new independent and arthouse films), ‘Forum’ (experimental and documentary films), ‘Generation’ (films aimed at children and young people), ‘Perspektive Deutsches Kino’ (German films), ‘Berlinale Shorts’ (domestic and international short films) and ‘Retrospective’ (classic films previously shown at the Berlinale). Around twenty films compete for the festival’s top awards called the Golden Bears (Goldenen Bären) and several Silver Bears (Silbernen Bären).

For the film and media industry, Berlinale is one of the most important annual events, as new up-and-coming filmmakers are discovered by the Berlinale Talents initiative. This year, the festival is set to open with My Salinger Year, written and directed by Philippe Falardea and starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.

Tegernseer Tal Montgolfiade (Tegernsee hot-air balloon festival)

5th – 9th February 2020, Bad Wiessee, Upper Bavaria (near Munich)

The 20th edition of Bavaria’s unique hot-air balloon festival this year promises mesmerising sights. A variety of weird and wonderful hot-air balloons will rise above the cold waters of the Tegern Lake against the backdrop of the Bavarian Alps. The highlight of the festival is the evening hot air balloon release, as the balloons light up the night sky in a stunning red, yellow and orange glow.

Transmediale (Festival for Art and Digital Culture)

28th January – 1st March 2020, House of World Cultures, Berlin

Berlin’s Transmediale Festival attracts international artists, researchers and students from around the world every year, with the goal of creating a space for people to reflect on cultural transformation. The festival celebrates and exhibits contemporary art and digital culture. It hosts a large number of exhibitions, panel discussions, performances, video screenings and workshops at Haus der Kulturen der Welt and welcomes around 25,000 visitors each year.


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