Berlin - Pedro Deltell, Paula Galimberti and Gonzalo Piñán - three Spaniards living in Berlin - are the creators of Berlineses, an award-winning Spanish-language web series. Each short episode has English subtitles and tells a love story among expats living in the German capital. The crew is working on Berlineses 2, set to go online in June. We talked to Pedro.
What's your role in the project?
I'm the filmmaker. I organise the team, I produce, I edit. But the three of us make the films together as the Esimprocine collective.
What's your background?
I was born in Valencia, grew up in Mallorca and studied film in Barcelona before I came to Berlin almost 20 years ago. I work as an animator at rbb and Deutsche Welle.
When did you start making Berlineses?
Three or four years ago, we started with a test. One morning we made four little films. A few months later we shot the first four films on a weekend. Later we made four more in Mallorca. We made four more in Berlin and they are almost ready. I only need the English and German subtitles.
The acting is improvised, right?
We see which actors we have and think about stories that fit them. For Berlineses, we always work with actors from Gonzalo and Paula's school Es Improescuela. We look for stories and characters with our actors. It's very free. We never know what exactly we are going to do before we start.
The films have a kind of realism about them.
Yes, with improvisation, we try to be very near to reality. We speak with our actors, we take the stories from them. for Berlineses, I interviewed my actors as if they were characters. Do you have a tattoo? What kind of trauma did you experience? Then I could find characters that are very close to the actors. Then they could live these characters very easily.
There always seem to be love stories in your films ....
The main theme is the survival of romantic love in times of Tinder - in an expat framing in Berlin. In the latest films, we started to work with international and German actors, too, because we wanted to open it to English and German, and try to integrate the Spanish community in the city.
The stories of love gone wrong seem quite typical of expats in Berlin.
We started with the idea that the series or films by Spanish people about being an expat in Berlin were very bad, very mainstream and not so deep, and not so realistic. We wanted to make something about what it is like for us to live here. We give the actors a story frame, but they have to look inside, at their own experience as Berliners, to develop the scenes.
One story is about an affair between two cousins. It touches on the idea that Berlin is a place where you can do things that are forbidden back home.
This the best one. The deepest one. It speaks about this Berlin freedom that people are looking for here. The actors were fresh in love when they acted in that film. They're not cousins, but they are in love and now they live together. They are my two co-directors.
How do you finance the films?
I have the equipment, lights, cameras, lenses. We do it all for free, but we had some help from the local TV station from Barcelona. We won some prizes, too. I pay for a lot of things. It's a very expensive hobby. But I hope we're going to find some real money. We're talking with Ballearic TV and rbb for funding. I want to do a project in Brandenburg. I would like to bring Berlin directors and actors to ask people in Brandenburg which stories and themes are important to them and then improvise films in cities in Brandenburg. The idea is to connect this very international and cosmopolitan city with Brandenburg.