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On the Big Screen in Berlin

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© Berlinale

Berlinale, as the 11-day Berlin International Film Festival is called, is prepared to kick off the new year with a bang. From February 7 to February 17, approximately 300,000 people will gather to view 400 domestic and international films—all before a panel of judges awards the highly-coveted Golden Bear (Goldener Bär) award to the best onscreen offering.

Highlights include the opening-night gala (February 7), followed by the international premiere of Chinese director Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster. The film, an epic drama about the early life of a martial-arts expert set against the backdrop of China in the 1930s, is considered an out-of-competition entry because of Wong’s official capacity at this year’s event. “I was already greatly looking forward to my returning to Berlin to serve as the president of the international jury,” he says, “so seeing The Grandmaster presented there will make it all the more special for me.” 49-30/259-200; berlinale.de.

Where to Stay: Soho House Berlin—a two-year-old private-members’ club with 40 rooms that were recently opened to the public—is hosting a party with Studio Babelsberg on February 9 as part of its weeklong Berlin International Film Festival events schedule. Rooms, from $230; 1 Torstrabe; 49-30/405-0440; sohohouseberlin.com.

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