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21st Edition of Berlinale Talents: The Film Community of the Many

Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth, at the World Cinema Fund Day, in cooperation with Berlinale Talents
Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth, at the World Cinema Fund Day, in cooperation with Berlinale Talents

21st Berlinale Talents successfully concluded: The Film Community of the Many

Berlinale Talents came to a successful close at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival on 23 February, 2023. This year's edition, under the theme "You Must Be Joking: Humour In Serious Times", once again became the extraordinary summit meeting of the diverse international film family with intercultural exchange and great emotions. The Talents, prominent guests such as Kristen Stewart, Ruben Östlund, Euzhan Palcy, Cate Blanchett and the Berlin audience met again in presence - and from these intense encounters they take strength and inspiration with them on their future professional and personal paths.

Berlinale Talents was able to impressively prove its position as one of the largest international communities for film professionals. Well over 300 Alumni returned to the festival this year alone, many of them with films in the programme or - as in the case of 2022 Golden Bear winner Carla Simón - as part of the International Jury. The six-day Summit, with 66 talks, workshops, script labs, think tanks and stage events open to the public, highlighted to audiences and the 203 Talents the importance of diversity, fair collaboration and interdisciplinary exchange in a progressive, sustainable film industry. The focus on "Humour in Serious Times" proved to be a perfect door opener to create stable communities and process social realities in the crisis-ridden present.

Together with the World Cinema Fund, Berlinale Talents addressed the conditions and challenges for Iranian filmmakers in depth. On the occasion of this event, the Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth, paid tribute to the courage of the people in Iran who, despite the restrictions and dangers, make art. They deserve the greatest recognition.

"As a political festival, the Berlinale shows that cinema is an outstanding space for discourse. Especially for international exchange, this is more important than ever, and not only for the films. In cooperation with Berlinale Talents, the World Cinema Fund Day sends a clear signal for the free development of art and its protagonists worldwide. The programme not only makes an important contribution to intercultural communication and understanding. With its large, active community, Berlinale Talents offers a network that can support filmmakers even in socially and politically very turbulent times. It shows that community, that art and culture can be stronger than crises and wars."

Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Claudia Roth
President of the International Jury Kristen Stewart
President of the International Jury Kristen Stewart
Nina Hoss and Cate Blanchett
Nina Hoss and Cate Blanchett

"The Programme provides insightful perspectives. Where are we coming from? Where are we now? Where do we want to go to fulfil our potential?"

Esther Kemi Gbadamosi, Berlinale Talents 2023 director and producer, Nigeria

The series of big public talks at HAU1 reached its first climax this year right at the beginning with the International Jury of Kristen Stewart, Carla Simón, Radu Jude, Golshifteh Farahani and Valeska Grisebach. Another highlight was the extraordinary encounter with director and master of social satire Ruben Östlund, who further developed his upcoming film project - including countless spoilers - together and live with the audience. The power of humour to counter a crisis was emphasised by Geraldine Chaplin in her conversation together with John Malkovich: "Humour is the greatest weapon [...] and it is a lot about that: laughing at the monster."

As a sign against all forms of discrimination and oppression, there were talks on queer visions, the immediate perspectives of Ukrainian filmmakers and a conversation with Euzhan Palcy, the filmmaker and activist for marginalised voices who was recently awarded an Academy Honorary Award for her lifetime achievements. Palcy appealed to the audience: "Jump over the fence and fly! [...] I am here to share my journey and speak my truth - not to lecture you."

Berlinale Talents closed on the last evening with "Grand Orchestra: Conducting TÁR" in the presence of director Todd Field, actors Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss and Sophie Kauer as well as film composer Hildur Guðnadóttir and the exclusive world premiere of Todd Field's new short film "The Fundraiser", set in the TÁR universe and featuring again its stunning ensemble.

Action at the Camera Studio
Action at the Camera Studio
The Talents Tanks
The Talents Tanks

"The highlights have definitely been the Talents Tanks. It gives this inner boost. You discover hidden parts of your personality, and of course, meeting these people."

Ruslan Batytskyi, Berlinale Talents 2023 director and screenwriter, Ukraine

In the Talents Tanks, Berlinale Talents' innovative three-day think tank for 200 participants, Talents from 68 countries visualised their own hero stories shaped by professional experiences and personal backgrounds. Focusing on "A Film Community of the Many," and in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and Telefilm Canada, the event is becoming a key Berlinale Talents format, also highly regarded elsewhere in the industry, to build film communities, strengthen them in their resources and give a space to the desire for ownership of the next generation.

Within the framework of intensive workshops, the Acting Studio, Camera Studio, Editing Studio, Market Studio, Production Design Studio, Sound Studio and Talent Press, the Talents were able to network and train in their respective disciplines. Among others, Hollywood acting coaches Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad sharpened the Talents' body awareness here. Together with Berlinale Talents co-partner ARRI, renowned cinematographers Caroline Champetier and Kirsten Johnson, among others, provided in-depth insights into their previous and upcoming films.

In the Talents Labs Presentations, 40 Talents from the Doc Station, Short Form Station, Script Station and, in cooperation with the Berlinale Co-Production Market, the Talent Project Market presented their upcoming projects with the aim of finding partners and supporters. The intensification and foundation of international co-productions was again the focus of many events, especially together with Creative Europe MEDIA and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. The artistic examination of interpersonal relationships in great diversity and - not surprisingly, but all the more impressive in its creative urgency - the conflicts caused by multiple crises are currently particularly present in the works of the Talents.

Together with co-partner Mastercard, Berlinale Talents celebrated the sustainable commitment of emerging filmmakers to innovative social initiatives at the legendary Dine & Shine Dinner for more than 400 guests. This year's selected fellows of the Talents Footprints - Mastercard Enablement Programme, who receive financial support and mentorship, are Carlos Ormeño Palma with a film initiative for the trans-community in Peru, Miguel Ángel Sánchez's platform for journalists and film activists in Mexico, as well as Phillip Leteka with a sustainability programme to save cinema in Lesotho.

Read more here.

The two Kompagnon fellowships, supported by the German Federal Film Board (FFA), pursue an innovative model of talent promotion in Germany that combines financial support with personal coachings over a longer period of time. The fellowships go to Berlinale Talents 2023 participant Anna Melikova (in the Script Station with My Beloved Man's Female Body) and Mareike Wegener (Perspektive Deutsches Kino 2022).

Read more here.

© Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2023
© Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2023
© Carlos Collado, Berlinale 2023
© Carlos Collado, Berlinale 2023

The VFF - Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film und Fernsehproduzenten supports a project from the Talent Project Market with the VFF Talent Highlight Award, endowed with 10,000 Euro. This year, God and the Devil's Cumbia, directed by Carlos Lenin and produced by Daniel Loustaunau and Paloma Petra, was awarded. Nomination prizes of 1,000 Euro each went to the producers Vildan Ersen from Turkey and Jaime Guerrero Naudin from Colombia.

Read more here

2023 Live Event Recordings

Photo Highlights 2023

Enabling Talents
Meeting Kristen Stewart
Humour in Serious Times
Connecting to Yourself
Berlinale Talents 2023
Talents Labs

Talent Press Articles

Deutsche Welle Portraits

Berlinale Talents is a Berlinale Pro* initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a division of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, and is supported by the Minister of State for Culture and Media, Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, German Federal Film Board, Mastercard, ARRI, and Federal Foreign Office.