Festivals: Berlinale VIP

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The Berlinale, Berlin film industry festival, seems less glamorous than Cannes but actually generates bigger sales revenues for the cinema industry. Of course, even if you do not work in this sector, you can see a zillion films during that week, but you can also sneak in some VIP events… This is what I did, and I was excited to hang out with the stars at Mercado San Cosme last Friday and at the Grand on Monday.

The Mercado is a mezcaleria in Mitte and invited Mexican stars Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También) and Gael García Bernal (Science of Sleep) for an evening of mezcal drinking, hanging out and enjoying life away from the craziness of the festival. They were both quite laid back and I witnessed a reunion of 12 years between Gael and Yasmin Gate, who, for the gossip, helped him meet his current wife. See for yourself, pictures by Stefan Busch.

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The second event had a much chicer feel: the venue, the model-like hostesses, the dressed-in-black press and industry crowd, the abundant free drinks and canapés, the goody bags, the soft lighting and the artworks from the movie on the walls… Poverty Row Entertainment surely know how to make their guests feel special! They were presenting their current and first full-length movie Billy Bates and celebrating their new project The First with Julia Stiles and Michael Pitt. Poverty Row are Julie Pacino and Jennifer DeLia, director and producer duo, already an item for the short Abracadabra. They both answered a few questions along with Billy Bates’ main actor James Wirt:

NS: Are you happy with the movie Billy Bates?
JD:
There are always things you wanna change about a movie, but yeah, I’m proud of it and I’m willing to be done with it.
JP: That’s music for my ears! Very proud of it too, I think it’s a master piece.
JW: I was happy with my performance, mainly thanks to these two ladies who allowed me to take risks and explore, that’s rare, it was dangerous, exciting… And when I saw it, I was like WOW!

NS: What is the concept of the movie?
JD: It’s a bit of a hybrid, documentary-like footage, mixed with provocative cinematic dream, memory or vision sequences as he’s creating his new body of work, so you’ve got this kind of docu-drama feeling. The texture of the images expresses what the artist is going through with creation, it’s really a movie about art.

NS: How did you three meet?
JP:
James and Jennifer met in NYC in acting class, 2002.
JW: Yeah, true story, Jennifer did not like me at the beginning.
JD: It took me two weeks to like James, we dreamt about collaborating in the future… then I started to work with Wong Kar Wai, Oliver Stone and others in the production world. And I started directing in 2008, and that’s when I met Julie.
JP: I was going to college on a soft-ball scholarship, but then I decided I wanted to join film school, when I met Jen, I was talking to her and I was trying to get my foot in the door without using my family connections. I showed her some project I had… Then Jen took me on board as producer for Billy Bates. So I learned the business like this instead of going to school, it’s been great. I am working, living, breathing it, it feels good!

Here are some pictures from the event by David Sonntag, and thank you Mariana Ivana or the invite!

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From left to right, Julie Pacino, Jennifer DeLia and James Wirt.