Just another day at the Berlinale

[18 February 2010]

It was a breakfast meeting for the first time during our present stay in Berlin though technically it was the second one. We had the man-in-charge for the visibility of German films in the world cinema committee. It was interesting to learn the ways in which this plan their visibility across the media, festivals, market, television, DVD etc. the kind of money they are spending on this is huge. But then they are following a systematic way to achieve their targets. For them, even art house cinema is a cinema and they have market for that world wide too. I personally found it very intriguing to know how they find a market and promote the art house films. Filmmakers like us in Karnataka; we largely depend on the government subsidies and help for such films. So all that we spend on our films are the funds, which can possibly recovered by these helping funds (which is very less!) so we are in a fix always about making films within small budget and many such films made with compromised budgets, fighting for the budget from the government. In this way, there is no possibility for growth in quality of our filmmaking. It is not that we don’t have the talent, but it is the constraints that are keeping us away from the ambitious projects. Countries like Germany, France, Netherlands they all have international understanding to produce films. So the film festivals have networks amongst them and they systematically plan and support films and growth of cinema in general. It’s ironical that India produces highest number of films each year but it has no presence in this support system! Don’t we need collaboration? Or are we just happy making Bollywood films!?

After a nice breakfast and heavy lecture, we break for a while only to hop on to the train to reach Goethe Institute where we attend our next meeting about international co-production. Here we are explained about possible international co-productions. I learn that Khamosh Pani was made possible with the international co-production with Germany. The details of the co-production treaty are illustrated and we had a nice discussion here. One of the major discussions was about the diminishing role of distributor. Back home in Karnataka, we have the situation where most of the producers are distributors them self and the sect of distributors is an endangered one. But I learnt from the meeting how important the role of a good distributor is in the success of any film. When there are thousand good films are being made all over the world, it boils down to the contacts the distributor has and the entrepreneurship of the distributor. So more experienced he is better chances of sales for that film. The discussion went on for a while and it was very interesting.

After the two heated meetings, before we head for the third one, we went to eat something. I ordered a vegetarian pizza and it was nice. I had already spoken to Richard and set an appointment to meet him this evening. So I had to get back to hotel and get the ceramic elephant I had brought for him from India. So for next one hour, I travel from Goethe institute to hotel and back. As I travel, I observe people around. There is so much calmness in everything. People just climb up to the train, sit silently, read something or listen to music in their earphones get down and eat something. Basically they are on their own little worlds. It was interesting to see that at the same time, I also wonder if they are lonely in their mindset. I wonder and I can only wonder.

Third meeting for the day was with the representative from the government fund DFFF. It was a nice lecture but the parliamentarian already discussed many things discussed here few days ago. So after this meeting, I quickly start towards Richard’s house. One station here, one station there, walk a little bit and there I was standing before Richard’s house. Ever warm Richard receives me. Bruno, Richard and Katrin’s cute little kid sleeps peacefully as Richard and I spoke about film funding possibility for his film, production feasibility etc. etc.

Richard and my self then walk to a super market to buy some grocery and we still talk. It is always a wonderful experience to talk to Richard and Katrin as they are so much like us Indians. They love people and they are very warm hearted. What amazing parents Bruno has got. I am so happy for all three of them. Anyway, we return back home, Katrin cooks, Richard helps and I take lot of photographs of their family. Discussions continued and by the time it was 9:30 I left them and started towards my hotel. Another day comes to an end and it was quite enriching.

This entry was posted in Berlinale, Society, Travelogue. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Just another day at the Berlinale

  1. Akshari ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ:

    Very well written… I feel as if I’m in Germany with u. Everything comes right in front of my eyes while reading it. Really I enjoy reading it.. Waiting for the next episode.. Bruno is tooooo cute.. 🙂

  2. Sheri ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ:

    And this is the main reason I read abhayatalkies.com. Stunninjg posts.

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