Berlin According to ... HBO Europe's Antony Root: "Connect With This Constantly Evolving City"

Courtesy of Antony Root
Antony Root

The executive vp original programming and production shares his take on the festival.

Your “Only in Berlin” moment/story?

Being taken to a restaurant where you eat in total darkness, and the staff are all blind. ... A unique experience, but it’s not a place for any kind of conversation, for all you know everyone you arrived with has gone home.

Berlin nightmare story?

Telling my wife she would be able to have a relaxing weekend at the Hyatt while I took a few meetings at the festival. As we discovered, the Hyatt during Berlinale is not where you want to be if you want relaxation! It was a bad journey home.

The best place to escape the fest?

Two places: the Tiergarten for the greenery and a snack at Café am Neuen See; shopping in Hackesche Höfe in Mitte, likely for a leather belt from Berlin Hoffnung.

Advice for a Berlin first-timer?

Enjoy the festival, with all its movies, series, stars and unique industry buzz, but take a little time to connect with this wonderful, fascinating, constantly evolving city.

In Berlin you should never …

Schedule meetings without a very precise location. “I’ll catch you in …” doesn’t work so well.

If I had a day off I would …

Walk through the Brandenburg Gate, go to the zoo, visit the remains of the Berlin Wall, take in Museum Island and check if the Berlin Phil have anything on (but beware the prices!).