Berlin: Lunchtime Talk With Pauline Piechota

Original article printed in Variety.

FilmNation senior VP of distribution Pauline Piechota has been going to the Berlin Film Festival for almost 20 years with different shingles — this will be her seventh with FilmNation — she’s been there since its inception in 2008. The shingle has an especially busy Berlinale, with competition entries “Genius” and “Midnight Special,” for which FilmNation has U.K. and the Middle East, plus Panorama player “Indignation.” She has recently worked on awards season favorite “Room,” and Pedro Almodovar’s upcoming “Julieta” (formerly “Silencio”).

Seeking out new places The cool thing about Berlin is that you can find places tucked away, in alleys. Turkish food too is great in Berlin. Our head of sales is Turkish. We head to Osmans Tochter in Prenzlauer Berg. It’s very comforting food. Also Hazir early on in the market.

Get outta Mitte Cocoro Japanese Kitchen (Teahouse and Sake Bar). It’s off the beaten path in Kreuzberg, but not far from the Berlinale/ EFM and owned by friends of the company (full disclosure, Florian, the designer who works the magic with our Berlin office). Attention to detail with both the space, presentation and the food is outstanding. They have a five- or eight-course sake Omakase menu that allows you to sample their current offerings with paired sake.

Outstanding Berlin memory Hasir, because it’s a family setting and you share the food, and we consider all the distributors we work with as family, we’ve been with them many years. It’s breaking bread with them, you want to know what’s going on in the territories.

Fast Food Also, am excited to know that the Berlinale Street Food Market is returning with food trucks from the Markthalle Neun. As some of us are locked down in our sales office in the Marriott, being able to dash over to the trucks for delicious fresh food in a casual setting is fantastic. It also adds to festival atmosphere as we often saw Dieter Kosslick having his lunch there last year. (How often do you get to slurp ramen noodles alongside the director of a prestigious film festival when the festival is actually taking place…?)

Market force Because there’s a cafe culture in Berlin, we integrate that into our office at the Marriott. We want people to feel that they are coming over to our house. Berlin in winter is so dark but the cafes are always warm and inviting. We incorporate FilmNation’s signature orange into the design and it’s a welcoming, warm color. During those dark days in Berlin all you want to do is have some warm coffee.

Business model The EFM team is really great, and Beki Probst really works with the sales companies as the marketplaces changes to accommodate our needs. They try to be innovative.


Osmans Tochter Pappelallee 15 Phone +49 (0) 30 326 63 388 web

Cocoro Japanese Kitchen, Teahouse & Sake Bar Mehringdamm 64 web

Hasir Oranienburger Str. 4 Phone +49 (0) 30 28041616 web