Berlin 2020 According to Publicist Tina McFarling

Tina McFarling

The publicist for the British Film Institute shares her take on the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.

Favorite thing about Berlin?

You really can do so much on foot and public transport is great. The history and architecture. Business-wise you can get to see a lot of people in a short space of time. If you’re organizing an event, German efficiency is just a joy.

Least favorite thing about Berlin?

It used to be the thick cigarette smoke in restaurants, everywhere in fact, but that it’s in the past. The wind-chill knocks you sideways some years.

Best place to grab a drink after 3 a.m.?

Whoa! I am always tucked up by then, but my British Council friends always know the in-places and it’s always somewhere "happening."

What’s the one item you always take with you to Berlin?

Lip balm and tea-bags — sorry, that’s two!

Tell me your Berlin nightmare story?

Arriving to try and find the key to my Airbnb, which was in a lockbox on a bike amongst a gazillion others and it was late at night; contemplating sitting in a 24-hour kebab shop because my phone had died. So not glamorous!

Advice for a Berlin first timer?

Try to take time out to get to the Jewish cemetery; it’s huge and moving. Think layers on the clothes front.

Craziest late-night Berlin memory?

Always the British Council parties, always in the most unusual places. I always remember the one in the empty swimming pool.

Best Berlin moment?

The opening of the first Talent Campus with 1,000 excited young filmmakers from around the world – they would make films but also friends for life.

Your Berlin guilty pleasure (what you indulge in while in Berlin, but nowhere else)?

Chocolate and hot toddies. Cookies Cream restaurant....

Your best Berlin “lost in translation” moment?

It’s always around the menu and not wanting meat.

Tips for avoiding the dreaded "Berlin flu"?

Mainline echinachea for a week before you go, hot toddies again! 

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 23 daily issue at the Berlin International Film Festival.