The first Berlin International Film Festival is opened on June 6 with Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca, starring Joan Fontaine, the first Hollywood star to be feted at the Berlinale.
Three goddesses of the silver screen grace the city with their glamour: Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Yvonne de Carlo.
The Golden Bear is awarded to a German production for the first time: Robert Siodmak's Die Ratten (The Rats), an adaptation of Gerhart Hauptmann's tragicomedy.
Charles Aznavour, Eddie Constantine and Sidney Poitier in 1963
The Berlin Film Festival is given the so-called "A-status" by the International Federation of Film Producers (FIAPF), formally placing the Berlinale on an equal level with the festivals in Cannes and Venice.
The Zoo Palace theater is opened near the main train station and becomes the center of gravity for the Berlinale for the next four decades. The motto of the 7th Berlinale: "The Film Festival in a new Berlin."
The Berlinale takes place for the first time in a divided city. Nevertheless, the presence of James Stewart, Shirley MacLaine, James Mason and Jean-Paul Belmondo provides welcome distraction from the international crisis.
Crisis. Michael Verhoeven's O.K., depicting the rape and murder of a Vietnamese girl by US soldiers, unleashes a wave of protest, heated debate and the resignation of the Jury. For the first and only time, no awards are given.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Jeanne Moreau in 1981
Following the scandal of 1970, the International Forum of New Film is founded to run alongside the Competition "to inform avant garde and progressive developments in film in all countries as well as to support these developments."
After turning down invitations for years, East Germany (GDR) sends a film into the Competition: Frank Beyer's Jacob the Liar (later remade with Robin Williams). On the whole, socialist nations do quite well. A Hungarian film (The Adoption) wins the Golden Bear, and Silver Bears go to the USSR and the GDR.
The Office of the District Attorney, suspecting that the Forum might break federal law by publicly displaying a pornographic film, confiscates Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses. The investigation plods on for five months before it's finally dropped.
John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands and Jules Dassin in 1984
Following years of debate, the Berlinale is rescheduled. Once a summer event, it's now a winter festival. Berlinale Director Wolf Donner argues that "the international film world needs the great turbulent fair in Cannes," but Berlin will be dedicated to "artistic cinema."
Vietnam scandal, the sequel. After Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter is screened, several socialist countries pull their films from the Competition and go home. A tough initiation for the new director of the festival, Moritz de Hadeln (Wolf Donner had resigned to become a culture editor at Der Spiegel).
A film from the GDR, Rainer Simon's Die Frau und der Fremde (The Woman and the Stranger) wins the Golden Bear for the first and only time.
Reinhard Hauff's Stammheim, depicting the trial of Red Army Faction leaders, wins the Golden Bear. Jury President Gina Lollobrigida breaks her pledge of secrecy -- an unprecedented act in the Berlinale's history -- and announces, "I was against this film."
Danny DeVito, Gong Li and Zhang Yimou in 1993
Just three months after the fall of the Wall, the Berlinale takes place at venues in both halves of the city. Julia Roberts and Sally Field pose for photos with East German guards at the Brandenburg Gate.
Gerhard Schröder becomes the first German chancellor to attend the opening of the Berlinale. The last Golden Bear to be awarded in the Zoo Palace theater goes to Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line.
For its 50th anniversary, the Berlinale begins a new era, moving to Potsdamer Platz, the massively rebuilt center of Germany's new capital. It's an emotional moment for Wim Wenders, whose Million Dollar Hotel opens the festival; just 13 years earlier, his Der Himmel Über Berlin (Wings of Desire) depicts an elderly figure standing in the no-man's-land the Platz had become at the height of the Cold War and lamenting the loss of the hustle and bustle of human life. Now, it was back, with a vengeance.
With Moritz de Hadeln more or less ousted, the 52nd Berlinale is new director Dieter Kosslick's first. Golden Bears go to Spirited Away and Bloody Sunday.