Glashütte Original Goes Glam At The 2015 Berlinale
The sixty-fifth edition of the Berlinale, Berlin’s Film Festival, captured the movie world’s attention for a week in February 2015. One of the biggest public festivals in the world (meaning anyone can buy tickets to attend the premiers), every year the Berlinale welcomes scores of Hollywood personas celebrating new movies.
Film festivals are exciting for everyone because not only is there a resolute air of glamour thanks to the presence of bona fide Hollywood stars milling about, but also because of all the new films in and out of competition being screened.
Though it’s not necessarily visible, much of this is only possible thanks to sponsors. Among them, German luxury watch brand Glashütte Original has been a major partner to the Berlinale for five years.
Glashütte Original partakes in the Berlinale in a multitude of ways, transcending simply putting its name on posters and other printed materials. In that sense, Glashütte Original has truly understood how to be a partner to this art form and this very special event that celebrates it.
German film in competition
One of the really fun things about visiting the Berlinale is getting to see some of the new films making their premiers during the festival week. As fate would have it, our group managed to score tickets to the world premier of Victoria, a German film made in Berlin, which will hit theaters in June 2015.
Directed, produced and co-written by Sebastian Schipper (known from acting in The English Patient and Run Lola Run), Victoria stars Laia Costa (as Victoria) and Frederick Lau (as Sonne), a 25-year-old award-winning actor from Berlin.
Perhaps the most important member of Victoria’s crew is cameraman Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, who managed to film the more than two-hour rollercoaster ride through the wee hours of the German capital city in just one long take.
The tagline on the masterfully crafted movie’s posters reads, “One girl. One city. One night. One take.”
I have never seen a film quite like this one – allowing me to be a real part of the action – and Schipper’s director’s note reveals that he’s never made one quite like this, either.
“Shortly after 4:30 am on April 27, 2014, we started the camera rolling in a club we built,” he writes. “In more than two hours and 20 minutes, we filmed 22 motifs, running, crawling and climbing past 150 extras led by six director’s assistants with three sound crews following the seven actors in a precisely practiced rotation. We had several situations in which uninformed passersby almost ruined the film, but we just squeaked by. It was almost 7:00 am when Laia Costa walked out of the final motif with the sun having slowly risen…we all felt as if we had just run a marathon.”
See for yourself in this trailer put together especially for the Berlinale.
On my last evening at the Berlinale (though not the last evening of the festival), I attended a party at the Glashütte Original lounge, which overlooks the red carpet and entrance to the Berlinale Filmpalast from the 24th floor of the Kollhoff Tower at Potsdamer Platz.
Though Franco himself departed the party after what felt like five minutes, Frederick Lau and Max Mauff (who played Fuss) from Victoria arrived, providing me with the chance to tell them personally just how much I enjoyed their film.
Homage and perspective
Another film I was able to enjoy at the Berlinale comes from the Homage section of the festival – which Glashütte Original directly supports. This year it was dedicated to legendary German filmmaker Wim Wenders. Wenders was awarded an honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement.
The film I had the pleasure of seeing is probably the most important one he’s ever made: Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire). To my chagrin, I had to admit not ever having seen it before, and was thrilled that Glashütte Original had thoughtfully provided tickets to yet another viewpoint regarding Berlin and its rich history.
Glashütte Original also specifically supports the section of the festival called Perspektive Deutsches Kino (“German cinema perspective”). Within this framework, the brand has created the Made in Germany Perspektive Fellowship, which not only singles out the outstanding work of a young German director, but also provides €15,000 to the budding director for the research of a new project and/or the development of a script.
However Hollywood the Berlinale may seem, it is a festival that is truly European in nature. Outside the glitter, cameras and busy film industry chatter, it remains something of a proving ground for documentaries and films outside the spotlight that mainstream audiences seldom get the chance to see.
Hats off to Glashütte Original for promoting young, little-known filmmakers who could possibly shape our future world of artistic expression. It is commendable for a watch manufacture of this stature to honor such expression by supporting young artists tackling difficult themes.
Five horological shorts
Excitingly, for the very first time Glashütte Original has decided to engage in the action by co-producing five short films relating to its own world of watchmaking. Please read Glashütte Original Short Films Premier At The 2015 Berlinale to find out more about the inaugural Glashütte Original Movie Premiere.