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Interview: Golden Bear Winner Carla Simón

Mar 17, 2022

In 2015, Carla Simón was selected for Berlinale Talents, attending our Script Station with her project "Summer 1993". Fast forward to 2022 and she is now the proud owner of the Golden Bear for Best Film, after her latest film "Alcarràs" scooped the award at this year's Berlinale. We caught up with our alumna to talk about her connection to Berlinale Talents and the festival as a whole, and find out what advice she has for the new generation of Talents and filmmakers.

We are very happy to have you back here in the HAU with us and delighted for your win, congratulations! How does it feel to be back at Berlinale Talents but in such a different position now as you were when you were here with us in 2015?

It feels like home actually you know because it was my first year at the Berlinale was through Berlinale Talents, we did the Script Station my first film "Summer 1993". So actually it has been a while since the last time that I entered this building but I don't know, yea we were talking about family so it feels like family.

Your film focuses on a working family, which relates both to the Berlinale Talents theme this year of 'Labours of Cinema' and to the Berlinale family as a whole. Do you feel a real connection to the Berlinale now, having progressed, through your hard work, from a Talent to the Golden Bear winner?

Yes totally. Before the pandemic I was coming every year in a row for many years, because first I was here in Berlinale Talents at the Script Station and then we came back for the Talent Project Market with the same project, then we released "Summer 1993" in Berlinale Generation, then after that I came as a Jury member for Generation, and after that we came with "Alcarràs" in the Co-Production Market. Then there was the pandemic and like this gap, and now we come back with "Alcarràs" as a film. So it's just, yes, for me, when I say it's my film home it's true because it's a festival I go to every year.

Five of the film team from "Alcarràs" have been Berlinale Talents in the past. Did you make that connection?

You know, I was actually remembering now that the first time that I really spoke to Daniela Cajias, who is the DOP of the film, it was in Berlin. So she lives in Madrid and I knew about her because she was the DOP of a film that I loved that was in Generation the same year as ours. So maybe we crossed somewhere there, but when I came back as a jury member Ana [Pfaff], the editor, was at Berlinale Talents, she introduced me to Daniela because they were together in Talents. So this is the first time that we really spoke for a while and we met. After a year or something like that, I called her to make a project, that wasn't "Alcarràs" it was first another thing, just to try to work together. So we met here actually.

Any words of wisdom for this year's Talents?

Try to find their own research on making films. I think that this is important, you know, to see filmmaking as a research and something that you want to play with and try to find and accept challenges, so you can try to find your own voice somehow.

This year Berlinale Talents turns 20, do you have a birthday wish for us?

Yes, here's to 20 more years after that!

Watch the final event of Berlinale Talents 2022, where Carla, fresh from her Golden Bear win, joined Berlinale Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian and Ana Pfaff, "Alcarràs" editor, in discussion about the labour behind her film, and its portrayal of complex family relations, here