It's my first time in Berlin but I have been to Germany before but not for a film festival, so I'm pretty excited! When director Veemsen Lama told me months ago that our film 'Chyanti' got into interfilm berlin but told me not to say anything until it was official, I was going bananas.
I get to Berlin a few days before the film festival starts and yes, it's cold. Surprise. Surprise. I meet a talented animator; Peter Chanthanakone directed/creator 'Midnight Horror' who jokingly said 'Who goes to Berlin in November?' But he warmly introduces me to the founder of interfilm Berlin, Heinz Hermanns, a filmmaker, educator and quite a talented musician. I meet several festival jurors as well: Thomas Lesourd, Anjorka Strechel, Tshopher Kabambi and Juan Carlos Lossada Acosta.
Veemsen Lama arrives just in time for the 'Chyanti' Friday & Saturday premiere. We watch films together, do Q&As together, attend networking parties and workshops together. We meet Shih-Ting, a fierce director that lives right in my backyard in Los Angeles, Anaïs Voirol director/animator of 'Perfect Town' from Zurich, a wonderful director from director Israel, Itay Akirav of 'Lighthouse', Elliot Spencer director of 'Long Yearning' an Australian living in Shanghai, Hong Chan of 'Where Have the Flowers Gone' from Hong Kong, 马宸淯 (Camille Ma) of 'Killer Smile' from China. I meet the winner of interfilm International Competition Peter Ghesquiere director of 'Downside Up' from Brussels. We talk at the closing party since his film was one of my favorite shorts in the festival; Peter is working on a script (slowly) that I hope to be on his crew someday.
I get a chance to chat with Lizete Upite & Christoph Ernst from the 5 year script pitch session, I also meet Rakan Mayasi of 'BONBONÉ' from Ecuador and another filmmaker, Tianlin Xu Wczko living in Berlin but from China. Inspirational filmmakers I spoke to like Lukas von Berg, Angsar Ahlers, Matthew Nesbeth, Christoph Matiss, Tiago M. Araújo, Aleksandra Sadikova & Karina Tateosyan from Russia, a composer, Basar Under from Turkey gives me life.
One of the many highlights at the interfilm Berlin is I got a chance to meet the Quay Brothers and I watched their classic surreal dark short films on 35mm film.
Last but the least, the staff, programmers & jurors were absolutely very welcoming and ran such a fantastic festival. Thank you so much Heinz Hermanns, Alexander Stein, Ioana Moldovan, Matthew Groll, Christoph Ernst, Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel, Sarah Dombrink, Kianoush Ramerzani & François Serre, Frauke Knappke and Peter from interfilm Berlin distribution & sales department and anyone that I have missed. Danke!