Twenty-one feature-length films (and two halves), 25 short films and countless hours of partying, conversations and general enjoyment later, I’ve come out on the other side of the 8. PornFilmFestival Berlin. A bit sad as it remains my favourite Berlin effort, happening and spectacle and it’s a rude awakening to wake up not having to immediately watch porn (at least with other people). But like any good festival, I look back on it with good memories and reverie that something like this still happens in Berlin that is so well cared for and planned and that enthusiastic cinema and porn fans still genuinely enjoy.
And it has been a quantifiable success as well. Yesterday, one of the programmers informed the audience during the touching and sweet world premiere of Koichi Imaizumi’s The Secret to My Silky Skin that Saturday’s ticket sales were the highest ever for the festival. And coupled with a party that threatened to burst the walls of Monster Ronson’s that same night, the masses have spoken: we want porn (film festivals)!
Quality porn, too. I didn't love every film screened, but the overwhelming majority, I really like. Their good taste for me is reinforced as well in the film festival prize winners. Lene Berg’s incredible, fascinating and entertaining Kopfkino won for best documentary film and Antonio da Silva’s moving and funny “Gingers” won for best short. Both spot-on choices. Unfortunately, despite the 21 films I did catch, the one that took home best feature, Love… Actually Sucks, passed me by. Fingers crossed (despite my better intuition) for a theatrical release in Germany sometime.
My only qualm isn’t really a qualm at all. From general conversation, I picked up the feeling that many people thought there wasn’t as much explicit material as there should have been. But that quota was never promised. I could agree, but I wasn’t really so bothered by it. And regardless, the overall quality of the films, with or without, was excellent and challenging.
Back at Exberliner HQ, bidding a fond farewell to the fest and everyone there, I feel tremendously befriedigt. And I’m totally anxious for another go next year!