The first major event of the annual European film calendar kicks off tonight in Berlin with the opening of the 63rd Berlinale, better known as the Berlin International Film Festival.
Always packed with gay content (much of which competes for the esteemed Teddy Awards), the eclectic but high octane fest runs for a busy eleven days this year, with screenings at theaters mostly clustered around Potsdamer Platz in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood.
But man cannot live on celluloid alone, and wild and wonderful Berlin awaits. So here are our tips for the best Berlinale-related parties happening over the next fortnight or so across the German capital.
Saturday, February 9
Propaganda Meets Berlinale
One of Berlin’s biggest dance parties, the monthly Propaganda club celebrates the film fest right on Nollendorplatz in the city’s historic gayborhood of Schöneberg.
Wednesday, February 13
Hotel Adlon Kempinski
After 26 years, the Teddy Awards are finally adding a lifetime achievement prize to the mix, and it’ll be presented at this black tie dinner and gala for 250 at the schmancy Adlon Kempinski Hotel.
On the fifth anniversary of the birth of John Cameron Mitchell’s infamous Mattachine party (at New York City gay bar Julius), Mitchell and crew (including PJ DeBoy and Paul Dawson from the film Shortbus) bring the first-ever European incarnation of Mattachine to Berlin, at hip mixed/gay karaoke palace Monster Ronson.
Friday, February 15
Teddy Award Gala
As every year, the Berlinale’s blowout gay climax is the Teddy Awards ceremony, presenting what’s been called the most important queer film prize in the world. This year the gala is headlined by Ameri-Canadian chanteur Rufus Wainwright. Tickets are still available here – but act soon, they’re selling fast.