Shooting stars in Berlin

February 18, 2008


U.S. actress Goldie Hawn poses on the red carpet as she arrives at the screening of the film ‘Elegy’ at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 10, 2008.  Photo by Fabrizio Bensch

Each year film stars from all over the World bring their gloss and glamour to the red carpets of the worlds’ most important film festivals such as Berlin, Cannes and Venice. With them come hundreds of photographers, writers and TV crews all on the hunt for stars. The Berlinale film festival in February opens the annual season in the winter cold of the German capital. Paparazzi stalk stars outside restaurants and hotels all looking for exclusive pictures. We concentrate more on the daily photo calls, press conferences and the red carpet premieres at the festival cinema. I have covered the festival nearly every year since 1991 and things have changed a lot in that time. Where there used to be only a couple of dozen of us at press conferences and premieres but today in the digital age there are at least 100 accredited photographers producing tens of thousands of images every day from the Berlinale.


Guests arrive at the screening of the opening film ‘Shine A Light’ running in competition at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 7, 2008.
Photo by Fabrizio Bensch

IN addition to me our team of photographers included Tobias Schwarz, Johannes Eisele, Christian Charisius, Hannibal Hanschke all working long days running from one event to the next in Potsdamer Square where the Berlinale cinema is located. As well as the usual remote filing our editorial team of Amanda Andersen, Michael Leckel, Kirill Iordansky and Wolfgang Ratty used our remote editing system, which allowed them to edit events live from the ‘comfort’ of the Berlin office. These days everything is always ‘on deadline’. When there are stars like the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Penelope Cruz at an event everyone wants the pictures now!.

U.S. director Martin Scorsese (C) poses with Rolling Stones members Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ron Wood and Mick Jagger on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of the opening film ‘Shine A Light’ at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 7, 2008. Photo by Johannes Eisele

 Madonna 1

Madonna poses during a photocall to present her film ‘Filth And Wisdom’ running at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 13, 2008.
Photo by Hannibal Hanschke

A photocall often takes just minutes. As soon as a star like Madonna emerged in front of the blue backcloth their would be a deafening noise from the assembled media – “Look left! Look straight ahead! Over here!”.

Fab combo      

DDP Photographer Michael Kappeler sets up his remote
camera before the photocall with pop star Madonna


Madonna 2

This view is from my remote camera fired synchronously with my other cameras.

A festival is as much about those moments as anything else, it is just like a film… everything is an illusion.


Gold and Silver Bear awards are lined up for the fortcoming Berlinale film festival at the Noiak bronze foundry in Berlin February 5, 2008. Phot by Fabrizio Bensch

Here are some more pictures from the Berlinale -

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