Berlin According to Producer Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann
The executive producer at Letterbox Filmproduktion shares her take on the fest.
The industry veteran has been to Berlin both as buyer (as head of acquisition at German mini-major Constantin) and producer, most recently of the sleeper hit My Blind Date With Life, which sold to more than 40 countries. She heads to this year’s festival in her new job.
What’s the one item you always take with you to Berlin?
Aspirin. You never get to bed before 3, and you never get out of bed without a hangover.
What’s your favorite Berlin memory?
When La Vie en Rose opened the Berlinale in 2007. I’d just bought the film for Germany for Constantin. It was a perfect premiere: thunderous standing ovations and not a dry eye in the house.
Your favorite thing about Berlin?
Unlike in Cannes or Venice, in Berlin you actually have an exchange between film professionals and “normal” film fans.
What’s your worst Berlin “nightmare” story?
On the first day of the Berlinale, a few years back, someone at Starbucks tipped their coffee over my phone. All my appointments, contacts, gone. Since then I always carry a backup notebook.
Biggest Berlin pet peeve?
The theaters are so far apart that you need 30 minutes to an hour to get from A to B.
In Berlin you should never...
Overdress. Berlin style is lassig (extremely casual).
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 19 daily issue at the Berlin Film Festival.