Art in Times of Crisis: How do Creatives Cope in Lockdown? Episode 6

Art in Times of Crisis: How do Creatives Cope in Lockdown? Episode 6 Diana Iljine is the glue for her team Sonja Calvert

Diana Iljine has just one wish for film fans everywhere: »Being able to experience films again where they’re at their very best«. Diana, director of the »Filmfest München« film festival, and Nico Weber, jazz student at the HMTM, share their plans for the future during the pandemic

Diana Iljine
Director of the »Filmfest München«

How are you doing?

So far, my team and I are coping well with the pandemic and I really appreciate how lucky we are. Of course, nobody can live through such uncertain times completely unscathed, but that’s outweighed by the need to provide people with culture again, and the anticipation of a really great film festival – and that is what really motivates me!

What is your daily work routine at the moment?

Team members are working from home and they only come into the office at specific agreed times, if it’s absolutely necessary. I’m the boss; I see myself as the glue for the team and I can often be reached on site in the office. But wherever we’re all working, my day consists of countless video conferences and phone calls. Plans are in full swing and we’re in the critical phase right now. That means always being flexible – and not just about where we’re working.

What are your plans?

At the moment, it’s all about this year’s film festival! And as the saying goes: once one festival’s over, we’re thinking about the next one. I’m very optimistic that we’ll also be able to celebrate the anniversary of »Filmschoolfest Munich«, the International Festival of Film Schools, live in November this year. I really hope that everyone is thrilled at being able to experience films again where they’re at their very best: on the big screen in a darkened auditorium! And that’s also my wish for all my colleagues at all the other cultural institutions: that it’s standing room only once this long intermission is over!

»Filmfest München« takes place from 1 to 10 July
More information is available at

Nico Weber
is in his 6th semester studying jazz trumpet at the HMTM 

Bild zeigt Nico Weber
Nico Weber © Nico Weber private

How are you doing?

All things considered, I’m fine because I’m currently receiving financial support via the Deutschlandstipendium scholarship. Because of that and the pandemic, I’ve actually got more time to simply focus on my instrument and to check a few things out in detail. All the cancelled projects mean that I can concentrate on developing my instrumental skills, which is extremely satisfying. BUT – and it’s a big but – every day, I long for the day when I can walk out onto the stage, actively engage with the audience and share with them what I’ve been practising so hard over the last year. One of the things I miss the most is the jam sessions, which are like a laboratory for us jazz players. That’s where we get the chance to try out new things and play in big groups of musicians, which always produces the most exciting results.

What plans do you have?

Along with developing my skills on the trumpet and piano, I’m currently trying to revamp my online presence a bit as well. In other words, doing all those things that are important these days but that always get pushed to one side. And, obviously, I’m looking forward to when things finally get back to normal again. When that happens, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to go to as many concerts and play as many sessions as I possibly can.

What connects you with the Gasteig?

I’m studying at the HMTM, so the Gasteig is my university building. That’s where the teachers are based and where I can go to practice, which means that I spend at least part of every day there.

Other creative voices from lockdown are available here


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