On Thursday, February 7, night, the 58th Annual Berlin International Film Festival was officially opened with the appearance of The Rolling Stones which literally shut the traffic in downtown Berlin down. On this opening night, the festival screened a special world premiere of Martin Scorsese's "Shine a Light" featuring the band's concert documentary.
Being the first documentary film to open the festival, the previewing of "Light" was flooded with celebrities. Among the A-listers to attend the event were Patti Smith, Goldie Hawn, Diane Kruger, Sam Riley and Brian De Palma. The Stones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ron Wood, who promised to give special appearances also attended the event to introduce the film alongside Scorsese.
At the introducing speech, Jagger humbly thanked the festival director Dieter Kosslick for using their film at the special event. He said, "We want to thank Dieter for opening the show with our movie. It's a real honor." Meanwhile, Scorsese who described the band's music as "the soundtrack of my life" talked about the last time he was in the capital city of Germany. Prior to the screening, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit expressed his excitement about the band's appearance stating, "It's wonderful that Dieter Kosslick managed to bring the Rolling Stones to our city. The Berlinale has become an extraordinary festival, and we have Dieter Kosslick to thank for it."
The opening night which was air live on 3Sat, the German pubcaster, showcased German pop band Wir sind Helden to open the show and hosted by Katrin Bauerfeind. This year's Berlinale is held from February 7 to 17, 2008. On the downside, however, it was reported that Berlinale had to lose two of its jury, French actress Sandrine Bonnaire and Danish director Susanne Bier. Bonnaire is unable to stay in Berlin for the entire length of the festival, whereas Bier is set to go immediately to the U.S. for matters related to her next film. Hence, the two had to resign from their position.