BERLIN Movie fans waited for hours -- and in some cases camped overnight -- to make sure they got passes to the 67th annual Berlin Film Festival, or Berlinale.
Martina Grotzki, a regular at the film fest in Germany's capital, spent the night in the festival center at Potsdamer Platz to get her tickets when they went on sale on Monday.
She said this year's programme was somber, with little comedy on the agenda.
"You, me and everybody else, we're at the end of the food chain. We are the ones who have to deal with the loss of our jobs, money and homes, whose families are breaking apart. It's good to show this on a small scale because it is something we can identify with as an audience," she told Reuters TV.
Last week Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said that this year's festival will deliver a timely commentary on what he calls the "daily apocalypse" of the modern world as well as offering viewers plenty of lighter moments.
Film fans were undaunted by the Islamist attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people in December.
"Whatever happens, happens, so if it hits me here in front of the ticket office -- what a pity -- but at least I was following my hobby," said Miriam Lesch, who was one of the first in the ticket queue.
Jeremy Andrew, attending for a third year, said the Berlinale was his favourite festival. "It's for everyone ... It's not like Cannes or Venice. If you don't know anything about cinema you just come to the Berlinale and get acquainted with new films."
The festival opens on Feb. 9 with Etienne Comar's "Django", a biopic about legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, and runs through Feb. 19.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Reuters TV; Editing by Sandra Maler)