10 questions with…..Lingual Consultancy

In the hot seat with our 2017 major prize sponsor, Karl Hillbrick from Lingual Consultancy.

Not only is Lingual Consultancy (LC) a globally connected firm for translation, language recruitment, interpretation services, it also is our major prize sponsor’s for Down Under Berlin for 2017. Every year DUB gives away an audience prize for Best Film and Best Short Film, and this year the winners will receive up to 90 minutes of film time translated into another language. Why is this so good for our upcoming winners? Because subtitling is hard! In the words of LC “Subtitling is more than words on the screen, and it involves much more than simply translating words from one language into another. True subtitling denotes the adaptation of one set of cultural references and idiomatic phrases into those of another culture.”

We have Karl Hillbrick from Lingual Consultancy with us for our next ‘10 questions with…..’. An Aussie living in Berlin, Karl opens up about what he missed most about Australia, about LC in Berlin and how they have come to work with filmmakers.

1.Tell me more about LC in Berlin?

Some time ago Berlin was identified as the best place in Europe for LC to put down roots, while continuing to be supported by our company’s 16,000 strong, team of translation, subtitle, voice and transcription linguists. In our 2nd year, the team is growing steadily; as is our base of valued Film and Entertainment customers here in Berlin, Germany and wider Europe. As with any new office, location and market, it comes with its fair share of challenges; however, we have an awesome team that loves what they do, with our customers reaping the benefits. We are actually quite humbled and grateful for the strong support, and business from filmmakers, studios, and industry peers.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

It was a ‘50/50’ decision between politics and military service. Not so surprising once you discover that I grew up in Canberra.

3. How did you end up in Germany and working for LC?

After about 5 years of thinking about it, a professional exchange program and a few holidays, the decision had been made. With my family’s German heritage, my wife coming from the Indigenous Art industry in Australia, and the ease of transition for my young daughters, Berlin with all it has to offer, turned out to be the best fit…..plus,  I think Berlin makes me seem cooler. (My wife asked me to remove this last sentence as she believes it is not true)

Then, not so long after arriving, LC found me, offering me the opportunity to set up their European based business. The role here has given me the ability to apply my knowledge, skills and experience in an industry, that incorporates an exposure to film, making for an exciting option. I enjoy different languages, cultures and people, so it has made it a great fit.

4. Why is LC interested in nurturing and providing for film and filmmakers?

Motion picture and film is highly fragmented. This fragmentation means that while the industry is dynamic, with arguably low barriers to entry, it conversely creates a number of challenges for the grassroots filmmaker.

Living in a highly connected world, one would think that so much is now within reach of our filmmakers, and in some ways it is, courtesy of digital transformation. However, many fundamental issues have not been resolved, they have actually been amplified. As in any supply-chain, well-functioning or not, big names dominate the industry landscape, providing innovation and technological advancement, but sometimes to the detriment of variety, locality, and the independent filmmaker. LC believes that this doesn’t need to be a linear equation, so with good localisation planning in pre-production, effective localisation services in post-production, independent filmmakers can compete, and thrive in this marketplace. Furthermore, LC has identified that while we have seen the continued anglicisation of film, there also exists a good appetite for original version content, which supported early with localisation services can enable the filmmaker to achieve a broader market appeal, balanced against commercial reality, with artistic integrity intact. You can have your cake and film it.

Lingual Consultancy and the DUB team

5. Your favourite films of all time?

In no particular order:

The Big Blue, Mad Max, Breaker Morant, Rabbit Proof Fence, Storm Boy, The Castle, Last of the Mohicans, and a film about two firefighters whom were ‘liquidators’ at Chernobyl. The story being about a trip together as a final hurrah. Memorable, despite that fact I cannot remember the title. Perhaps, a reader of this article may know, if so, please get in touch.

6. What’s your favourite German cuisine?

The official answer, Königsberger Klopse. Unofficially – Currywurst.

 7. How did LC come to discover Down Under Berlin and want be involved?

We had been researching various film festivals and through our efforts realised Down Under Berlin aligned with the difference we also want to make and also a small amount of bias from a member of the LC team.

8. What do you miss most about Australia?

Definitely our coffee, and our multicultural broadcaster SBS. I really have tried to like the locally over-roasted bitter coffee, however just cannot reconcile to it. Here in Berlin, Australian coffee’s best match is recognised as ‘third wave’ coffee.

9. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

Lola Rennt at Kulturfabrik Moabit’s open air cinema. Franka Potente does it well.

10. Can we expect to see LC at many more film events in Berlin in the future?

Absolutely, loitering with intent…


Karl will be there with us on Sunday 17th for the announcement of our two major prize winning films, which will be held before the screening of our closing night screening, the scarily good New Zealand Documentary Spookers. Check it out here.

Keep up to date with our festival events on Facebook and Twitter, check out the website or subscribe to our newsletter, and we’ll see you at the movies!


Charmaine Gorman is an Australian actress and writer living in Berlin with her family. As a content writer and editor, she works for many clients around the world, and along with her husband, is the founder and content manager of the online travel guide My Guide Berlin


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