Established in 2003, Berlinale Talents is the festival’s talent development programme for the world’s top 250 emerging filmmakers and drama series creators. It consists of a creative Summit with talks and films; Talents Labs with workshops and mentorship tailored to specific disciplines; and numerous networking events. Berlinale Talents is not a "school" for those taking their very first steps in the industry. Rather, our participants are working professionals, and our experts and mentors see them as equals. During six packed days, you'll come into contact with hundreds of new ideas and numerous like-minded people. For many participants, Berlinale Talents is a life-changing experience - and for everybody, it represents the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with the Berlinale.
Berlinale Talents is aimed at film and television professionals with an existing track record of work and who are willing to share their experiences with others. To be eligible, you need to have made either one feature-length film, two short films or a high-quality drama series that have screened internationally or won awards. Students are only admitted in very exceptional cases, e.g. if they have previously worked in the film business. If you don’t fulfill these criteria yet, don’t worry - simply apply for a future edition! If you wish to apply as a distributor, sales agent or audience designer, you should have been involved in either the distribution or sale of at least two feature-length films or be responsible for a cinema space or festival, e.g. as a curator. If you're applying as a critic, you should be publishing film-related articles, interviews or essays on a regular and professional basis.
That's hard to predict in this constantly evolving situation. Since networking and in-person encounters are key aspects of our events, Berlinale Talents will be impacted by all changes to the meeting, travel and working conditions of everyone involved. The overall shape of the 2021 event is planned in line with the Berlinale’s strategy and with government guidelines and health regulations. The festival, including Berlinale Talents, aims for an event that offers a safe physical experience for its participants and audiences at our usual venues in Berlin. In order to be able to react flexibly to unforeseen circumstances and maintain our core values of diversity and inclusion, our online services will be expanded and implemented if and when activities can't take place as planned. Please be assured that all 250 invited Talents will become and remain part of the 2021 selection, even if you can't join us in person. To that end, we'll offer flexible online alternatives for select labs, talks and your "Berlin experience" in general. However, a participation from abroad is only possible in exceptional hardship cases and at the sole discretion of Berlinale Talents. While applying for this edition, we kindly ask you for some flexibility, patience and openness. Thank you in advance - we are all in this together.
Since "talent" is a broad term and ultimately a very individual characteristic, we don’t have "hard" selection criteria beyond the eligibility requirements set out under "Who can apply?". Nevertheless, there are several "soft" factors in the selection committee’s work. Their decision will take into account aspects such as “professionalism” (education, professional independence, track record etc.), “craftsmanship” (aesthetic capacities as shown e.g. in your work sample), “resonance” (relations with your local communities, acceptance among festival programmers, audiences and press etc.) and the “relevance” of your work (willingness to take artistic risks, to overcome internal and external boundaries, and to deal with individual and social issues etc.). We also look for innovative qualities in your work (new modes of collaboration, technical innovations and other fresh approaches in your field of work). However, please be assured that we don’t check boxes and truly believe in everyone’s individual strengths, including yours. We encourage you to honestly and fully present who you are as an artist and what you think is right to move your work forward, inspire others and impact the world that surrounds you.
We like to ensure a reasonable balance between "hard" factors (e.g. age, gender, regions) and "soft" factors (e.g. creative and social diversity). It's worth noting that in past years, at least 50% of our participants have identified as female, which unfortunately is not yet the case throughout the wider film industry. Nevertheless, there is no specific quota at Berlinale Talents, especially not for countries, and quality is always the most convincing argument.
Applications for Berlinale Talents open every year in early July and end in early September. We recommend that you subscribe to our newsletter and social media channels to be notified of the next call for entries.
Depending on your field of work, you may be eligible to submit your work to one of our four labs for project development. Directors with film or drama series projects at script level may apply for Doc Station, Script Station (also: screenwriters), or Short Form Station; producers with fully developed film projects may apply for the Talent Project Market. Please note that you may only apply for one Lab per year and that you need to complete the general application as well to be able to submit your project. If you are a Berlinale Talents alumna/alumnus, please login your existing profile to apply (under the condition that you have not previously participated in the same lab).
The Studios for actors, cinematographers, editors, production designers, sales agents, distributors, audience designers, sound designers and score composers do not require an additional application. Depending on the field of work you apply with, you will automatically become part of the corresponding one or two-days workshops during the Talents week.
As an alumna/alumnus there are two options to attend Berlinale Talents a second time. You may apply with a project for the Doc Station, Script Station, Short Form Station, or Talent Project Market, given that you did not attend the same lab before. Vice versa, former attendees who first came to Berlin for a Lab and now want to experience more of the general Berlinale Talents programme, can also re-apply again and attend the Summit and various networking opportunities.
Yes, as a former participant of the Talents International initiatives in Beirut, Buenos Aires, Durban, Guadalajara, Rio de Janeiro, Sarajevo, or Tokyo you may apply for Berlinale Talents if you fulfill our application criteria. To apply please login to your existing Talents profile. The application form for Berlinale Talenst will be available once the application opens by beginning of July.
The sample of work should be about 3 minutes long and must correspond with your first field of work in the application. It should contain a maximum of two scenes (not necessarily from the same film). Please choose a sample that is understandable without the full context of the film and that proofs what you are capable of. The sample should highlight your creativity rather than a certain theme or message. All scenes that contain significant non-English dialogue must include on-screen English subtitles. A translated list of dialogue on paper is not sufficient. The sample’s sound/soundtrack should not be altered from the original film. Please make sure that you are the copyright owner and/or have obtained the consent of any other copyright owner(s) for the usage of the work sample. We do not accept showreels, trailers, teasers or commercials.
The sample of work must be uploaded to your application profile before the application deadline. Since our servers are usually very busy and may not be able to process your upload in short time, we strongly recommend to upload the sample rather at the beginning and NOT as the last step of your application process or shortly before the deadline. It is recommended to use a movie file with Quicktime/MPEG4 video compression in h.264 codec with a variable compression (bit rate of at least 2000 kbp/s) and AAC audio at 128 kbit/s. If your uploaded file corresponds to at least these criteria, it will be used without any conversion for the selection process. In addition to your sample of work, you may add a link to other films and files. Please make sure that the links remain valid until end of December. If your clip is protected, please add the password to the corresponding field in the application form.
Please include all (!) finished films and drama/web series as well as projects in development to which you have contributed or are contributing in a key crew position. You may leave out projects to which you have only contributed e.g. as an assistant, volunteer, intern or that have been handled by other colleagues in a company you are working for.
As a creative, your talent is certainly not only to be found in your films. In order to get to know you and your backgrounds a bit better, we’d also love you to share some important milestones of your educational training and the film related companies and initiatives you are working at or even have founded. If you are teaching film classes at university or engage with others in a collective cinema space twice a week, these information also help the jurors to get the “full picture” of you. As an initiative dedicated to sustainability in four key fields – Gender Equality & Diversity; Quality Education; Peace, Justice & Understanding; Climate Action – we’d love to join forces with you once you come to Berlin. So if you are for example the founder of an association for female cinematographers in your country, the inventor of a solar powered mobile cinema, or the brain behind a social project reaching out to indigenous audiences … please mention that in the Milestones section (“Social Projects & Engagement”) of your application as well. Once invited to Berlinale Talents, we can offer related grants and fellowships and connect you with others who share your commitments.
No, Berlinale Talents does not charge any application or participation fees. If invited, you will have to cover your accommodation and a part of your travel costs (more information below) as well as daily expenditures during your stay in Berlin.
Since inclusiveness is most important to us, Berlinale Talents and its regional partners (embassies, film institutes etc.) offer a partial contribution towards your travel expenses. For a limited number of participants who cannot afford the accommodation costs, scholarships are offered on a case-by-case basis and at the sole discretion of Berlinale Talents.
We will contact you via email before the end of December. Please make sure that the email address you provided on your application will be operational at that time. If your email address changes after you have filled out the application, please let us know. We will not be held responsible for any failed delivery of notification. If you haven’t heard from us by January, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an official notification.
Yes, you may apply again for a later edition. Please note that old application profiles will be deleted after each application period. If you decide to apply again, please create a new application profile on our website.
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