Not many film sales execs can boast a master’s degree in alternative dispute resolution and international peacekeeping from Pepperdine, or a teaching assistant gig at Harvard’s Program on Negotiation. But Radianthttp://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/berlin-lunchtime-talk-with-radiant-films-mimi-steinbauer-1201697649/ Films Intl. founder Mimi Steinbauer is far from average. She arrives in Berlin with a healthy slate (including “Rita Hayworth With a Hand Grenade,” starring Elizabeth Banks, “Carrie Pilby,” with Bel Powley and “Juveniles” starring Stephen Moyer) and an equally healthy appetite.
I’m from Austria, so I love the fact that I can go to Berlin and eat food from home. I like one restaurant around the market, Lutter & Wegner, because they have Wiener Schnitzel. There’s also Hasir — the one in Mitte — that’s a really fun, good Turkish restaurant. And Rutz is my favorite in the evening.
Lutter & Wegner is a nice place for a sit-down lunch and good conversation with buyers, producers or financiers. Hasir is a more fun place to go with groups of buyers — they have little plates and there are lots to try. Rutz started as a wine bar, so it’s really all about the wine pairings — they’re incredibly knowledgeable, with a seasonal menu. It’s a place for a nicer dinner with buyers if you have something to celebrate.
I usually start with a breakfast meeting and then have meetings literally every half-hour for seven days. There are two of us who sell, so we’re pretty busy the whole time. I love Berlin. The screenings are well-located, the public transportation is great, and the city is a size where you can have some nice meals in parts of town that aren’t in that five-block radius that we exist in during the market.
I was working at Franchise Pictures, negotiating a settlement at 2 a.m. and I thought to myself, “This is what my life has come to?” If I was going to be negotiating something at 2 a.m., I felt it should be world peace, as opposed to a Steven Seagal movie. I had to take a bit of time away from film sales to realize that I love movies and love our buyers. We’re in a very high-stakes business because there’s a lot personal money, ego and cross-cultural negotiation involved. In Berlin, you’re dealing with a different culture every half-hour… and I’m probably too much of a wimp to work in South Sudan.