Focus 2021

Every year, we select a theme for Berlinale Talents based on what could best serve our potential Talents and the film industry as a whole. This year, we could think of no better thread to connect us all than the communal idea of Dreams. 

When we dream, we go to the movies according to Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The opposite also holds. Since its very inception, cinema has invested our dreams with new meaning: early viewers were enchanted by a flight to the moon with Méliès or horrified at an speeding train coming their way in films by Edison and others. Since then, and through cinema, we have been offered countless vivid dreams: from the joyfully excessive cinema of Federico Fellini to the oneiric landscapes of Claire Denis and Sally Potter.

It is precisely this utopian promise that drives this 19th edition of Berlinale Talents. We invite participants and audience to share their creative fantasies and professional nightmares in the pursuit of untold possibilities for artistic expression. And because our dreams have a better chance of coming true with the help of others, we have invited a host of guests whose visions know no boundaries, whether poetically or politically. We delve into the sharp imagination of directors Céline Sciamma, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Kirsten Johnson, stand up for a new and more inclusive film industry with Ava DuVernay and get involved in creative daydreams with the International Jury of this year's Festival.

And in this dreamscape, the very-real set designer Uli Hanisch displays his craft and that of Talents Alumnus Josef F. Brandl in the unique ‘filmset’ designed by the pair at the HAU3 especially for Berlinale Talents, before Uli Hanisch walks us through the development of sets that have captivated audiences worldwide in The Queen’s Gambit. All this in addition to webinars that give Talents the chance to speak up against censorship and you the opportunity to travel through cities by sound.

Here are the beginnings of a dream you'll want to remember.

Welcome Words from Berlinale Talents

We're never too old to dream. And at nineteen, Berlinale Talents dreams big, regardless of current circumstances. Our platform continues to offer a unique habitat for international networking, talent and project development. 200 of the world’s most promising film professionals meet on an equal footing with seasoned filmmakers, industry experts and artists to carve out new visions for their future and quash the rise of nightmarish realities.

Berlinale Talents has always turned to its Talents for inspiration, never more so than now: the resilience so many of you have shown in the last couple of months is matched only by your desire to continue creating and to inspire dreams in audiences around the world, never compromising when it comes to the love of your craft and the stories you want to tell. There is therefore much to be optimistic about, much to learn, and much to share. We have no doubt your brilliance will lead us to even sweeter dreams.

Christine Tröstrum & Florain Weghorn
Heads of Berlinale Talents

Welcome Words from Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture and the Media

The past year has radically changed our daily habits, to say the least. Yet Berlinale Talents shows us that even when we can appear isolated, cinema has the power to bring us together, and innovate new ways of learning and exchanging in the process. With this in mind, I welcome you on behalf of the Federal Government to the 19th edition of Berlinale Talents. You can look forward to a week full of intensive exchange, debate and manifold opportunities which this unique forum offers to more than 200 emerging filmmakers from some 60 nations. The film industry rarely offers emerging talents across all disciplines an opportunity to continue learning and share experience in such a diverse and high-quality setting. That Berlinale Talents is taking place despite adverse circumstances is an inspiration. So join each other in solidarity, hope and encouragement. And welcome to Berlin, wherever you might be!

Prof. Monika Grütter
Member of the German Bundestag
Minister of State for Culture and the Media

Welcome Words from the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg

Welcome Words from Creative Europe MEDIA


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