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Introducing Patricia Batlle
by Becky Tan

Free-lance reporter and photographer Patricia Batlle regularly attends the Filmfest Hamburg as well as the Berlinale. Her photos, reports, film reviews, and her speciality: interviews, appear on Nordeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) online as well as in Hamburg Pur. She has been affiliated with the NDR for almost six years, although she got her first experience with the Pinneberger Tageblatt, where she started doing local reporting. In Pinneberg she was expected to be a photographer as well as reporter; she rose to the occasion to become proficient.

Patricia interviews former candidates of the European Eurovision Song Contest such as Cliff Richard, The Olsen Brothers and Joy Fleming on a regular basis. She interviewed one of Germany’s most successful comedians, Otto Waalkes. She interviewed Armin Mueller-Stahl and Iris Berben for their roles in Buddenbrooks. For the film festival she talked with Miraz Bezar, director of The Children of Diyarbakir (aka Before My Eyes), winner of this year’s best first film award. Her photos of the Red Carpet Filmfest attendees for the premiere of Soul Kitchen are also on the NDR website. (See links below.) Her command of German, English, Spanish and some French is a definite asset.

“My favourite film at this year’s Filmfest Hamburg was Pandora’s Box, which earlier had won best film at the San Sebastian Film Festival. I was happy that my country, Spain, chose such an excellent winner for its biggest internationally known prize, the Golden Shell.” The NDR is interested in films in which they have a stake or which originate in Germany but Patricia is happy to branch out from these perimeters. She says, “I’m also really interested in Asian films. Or perhaps I’ll go to the Nordic Film Festival in Lübeck in November.

Journalism was not Patricia’s original goal. She grew up in Madrid, Spain, and attended a German school. She says, “In Madrid I was lucky to be able to see so many films in the original.” In both Hamburg and Madrid she studied German, Spanish and English philology with the intent to become a teacher. Armed with her first teaching degree, she taught German and Spanish to third, fourth, and eight graders at the International School in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon her return to Germany, she decided to test the waters in other professions besides teaching. She worked in marketing and public relations for a world-wide company based in Hamburg. Then, as she says, “I am a curious person and I love film so it was natural that I would begin to report on the film scene in Hamburg.”

Patricia has an impressive schedule, but it’s even more amazing considering that she has three daughters under the age of six. She says, “Cinema and kids are my passion, which my wonderful husband also shares. Although he has a demanding full-time job, he is loves to play with the kids in his spare time. And he also loves films.” But, Patricia adds, “There are months, such as in the summer, where I hardly work. Often I have to fight for every inch published; I must constantly pitch my suggestions to potential media customers in order to sell my articles. I hope I do not create the wrong impression that it is easy to work as a free-lance journalist as well as be a mother.” Not easy – just very impressive and a wonderful role model.

See the following websites for some of Patricia’s work mentioned above: