Berlin 2018 According to Filmmaker Torill Kove

Courtesy of subject
Torill Kove

The director of the animated film 'Trader (Threads)' shares her take on the fest.

What’s the one item you always take with you to Berlin?
I never go anywhere without my Totoro plush hand puppet. This started many years ago when my daughter was little and she insisted I bring Totoro with me on trips, so I wouldn’t be lonely. Over time he’s become my travel mascot. I’ll be bringing him to Berlin. It’ll be his first time.

Your favorite thing about Berlin?
It’s all about being in a great European city so steeped in history and culture. Berlin has the extra je ne sais quoi because of the history with the wall.

Advice for a Berlin first-timer?
Stay a day longer than necessary.

The one place you have to go while you’re there is ...
I would say the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial.

At Berlin you should always ...
Speak some German. Learn some basic things like “Ich habe hunger” [I am hungry], “Ich bin sehr mude” [I am very tired], “Ich bin krank” [I am sick], “Was ist das?” [what is that?]. Don’t worry about the grammar — nobody would expect you to get it right anyway.

How do you stay warm in Berlin?
Oh, come on. This isn’t Sundance in January! Just bring a decent coat.

Your best "lost in translation” moment in Berlin?
Probably asking for the wine list at a beer hall. 

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 16 daily issue at the Berlin Film Festival.