Amidst the news reports on my phone of the success stories and bumper deals at European Film market (EMF) at Berlinale 60 (Berlin International Film Festival), I received a facebook message asking for a comment on Ray Gosling story by an Italian newspaper. It was an interesting situation and made me realise the fast moving power of virtual social media networks while I was trying to network with people in Berlin.

One of the most interesting networking event was queer film programmers’ meeting that was organised by the festival. Over sixty guest (I guess, since I lost count) got up to introduce themselves one by one. Soon, it became clear that several key LGBT film festival programmers from different corners of the world were present in the room. It was a magical feeling to extend a hand to someone in Kyoto or San Fransisco or Vienna or Mumbai… It showed a clear evidence of the power of the global queer networks. It was also evident from programming of the Berlinale that mainstream or queer cinema from China, India and Far East can soon make big waves in the West. The younger filmmakers & practitioners from those countries looked more confident and seemed to be aware of their potential in the world cinema.

The best learning was observing massive scale of the festival organisation. As every year, the delivery in this 60th year of the film festival seemed impressive & almost punctual. The friendly and helpful service by the festival staff and all the members of hospitality community in Berlin left a remarkable impression.

Back to London now and working on getting the GFest call for submissions sorted soon (March)

Niranjan Kamatkar – Artistic Director, February 2010

Wise Thoughts / GFest

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