Berlin 2018 According to Filmmaker Danishka Esterhazy

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Danishka Esterhazy

The writer-director of 'Shadowy Lines' and the upcoming 'Level 16' shares her take on the fest.

What’s the one item you always take with you to Berlin?
My camera, because Berlin is a constant surprise. Berlin has such history and beauty.

Your “only in Berlin” moment?
Traveling halfway across the world to sell my film at the EFM, and then selling it to a distributor from my hometown of Winnipeg.

Tips for avoiding the dreaded “Berlin flu"? 
I pack lavender-oil hand wipes and effervescent vitamin C.

Advice for a Berlin first-timer?
Don’t be dismayed by the pace and the personalities at industry events. People who seem unfriendly or curt are often just overbooked and anxious.

Your favorite thing about Berlin?
Walking. Discovering new parts of the city. And hot chocolate at the Hyatt — it comes on a lovely tray with hot milk and three different kinds of chocolate bits.

Your best Berlin “lost in translation” moment?
Perhaps because I was born and raised in “friendly” Manitoba, I often find German film audiences to be shockingly blunt. If they don’t like your film, they will let you know. But, on the upside, if a Berliner tells you that they like your work — they mean it.

The best place to escape the fest?
The Brohan Museum. For lovers of Art nouveau and Art deco — this museum will take your breath away.

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 15 daily issue at the Berlin Film Festival.