Monday, September 15, 2008


Late 2004, Jenn and I received the answer that we were accepted to Berlinale Talent Campus. Just weeks before, I had given up that we would be accepted at all. Jenn sent 5 pages of ECHOES as a screenwriter while I sent 1 minute of ECHOES as a director. The theme for the year was on PRODUCTION DESIGN.
It was a surreal feeling to actually be accepted at all and I appreciated every single moment while I was there.

We had to fly into Frankfurt first before we caught another to Berlin. We were there during the winter and cold it was but there was no sign of white snow yet. Our hostel was very close to the zoo and the place was central to a lot of other places. One was a church which partially was destroyed during WW2 and that gave me a perception to the history in close up. Below our hostel, there were BURGER KING, a horrible Chinese joint which we tried the first day and never again we set foot in there and a flower shop which had some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.

The first day, we had to register in the huge centre which was built to house all the seminars, workshops and 500+ of us. Interesting experience was that we were able to meet filmmakers from all over the world and share our cultures through our films. I attended some really interesting seminars. One with Ridley Scott, then with Chris Doyle and the costume designer for HERO where both of them share their experiences making the movie, Walter Salles, Mike Figgis, etc…
I was glad to have had conversations with Walter, Mike, Bai Ling (in real life, she is quite an intelligent and thoughtful person) and Chris, who spoke fluently in Mandarin and he always had a mug of beer with him at all times, even during his talk. A funny and friendly person he is.

Snow came during the second day and I was so happy as it was here in Berlin that my wife, Jennifer finally got her first experience of seeing and feeling snowflakes. We found this very nice Chinese restaurant and a great gelato place and we frequented the places after the second day for the next few days. Gained weight I did!!

Red carpet premiere experience where we walked on the red carpet into the cinema with FLASHES going off here and there. Once in the cinema, we waited for the arrival of Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin…, the other girl and the director, Andy Tennant for HITCH. Arrived they did and we got a firsthand experience of movie premiere in Berlin.

I will definitely be going back to Berlin one of these days hopefully to have my film premiered there. Hope is a good thing. ;D


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