The award season has been flourishing these past few weeks around the world. In Berlin, for almost two weeks, it was all about Berlinale. As I am new to the film industry, it was quite overwhelming, but wow so enriching. I never knew how much was going on, until I experienced it myself. Here are some of the main moments of my festival time and few TIPS what to consider when taking part in one. PS. I apologize already beforehand the quality of some photos as they were taken quite on the run.
I started the festival experience with strolling around the locations with unexpected sunshine after months of rain. Lucky enough, I got to have few words with the festival director Dieter Kosslick himself, as he was on his way to one the first premieres.
The biggest part of film festivals is of course the screenings. I targeted mainly the premieres, as it is interesting to see and possibly meet the crew and cast and take part in the open Q&As if organized.
Many panel discussions, workshops and events are organized throughout the city during the festival, and I took part as many as I could and reasonably fit my calendar. The most eye opening event was ‘Closing The Gap – Creatives and Financiers on how to take action towards 50/50 by 2020’ -event organized by WIFT Germany, WIFT Nordic and Swedish Film Institute about the gender gap within the film industry. The conversation has been tough around the world thanks to the movements such as #metoo and #timesup, and it got heated here as well – in a good way to push us to work on towards the new goals.
Not to forget the fun and craziness of Berlin, I attended few nights out as well. Mainly they came out of the blue without organizing, so this is good to keep in mind when planning on morning events… When you meet interesting new people during the day, it is not a bad idea to ask where they are heading in the evening.
So planning to visit a film festival?
If anyone out there is planning to visit a film festival, one big thing I can say – the planning is the key! Obviously, different festivals work in different ways, but to plan the screenings and possible workshops, talks and parties is still important, so you don’t miss something that you are interested in.
In Berlinale, it is crucial to know when the tickets go on sale – some screenings sell out within seconds (online). For me, one film screening per day worked really well, on top of workshops, talks and parties – more would have probably been too much to focus.
In Berlinale’s case, a very warm winter wear is important as it can be freezing in February. Some true fans stay outside all night to wait the tickets to go on sale, but even though I am from Finland, I am not much of a winter person, so I preferred to refresh the event page in the coziness of my home every morning just before 10am.
Remember to get a good night sleep to have the energy also daytime, even though the parties can be tempting to stay til the next day. Good amount of parties can be amazing though, especially if you are looking for getting new contacts.
Which brings me to this: Be open to new contacts and surprising moments and occasions. You never know who you could meet and where. I met some key persons to my fun times at the festival in a metro – call it a luck or destiny.
Well lucky enough, I get to focus on my own film making now.
The world is full of stories – find your way to tell yours!
Creating New Culture,