The annual Kompagnon Fellowship is awarded jointly by Perspektive Deutsches Kino and Berlinale Talents. It’s open to screenwriters and directors based in Germany who were selected for the last edition of Perspektive Deutsches Kino or participated in the Script Station, Doc Station or Short Form Station at the current edition of Berlinale Talents.
The fellowship provides a stipend to develop a screenplay or project, consisting of €5,000 for feature-length projects or €2,500 for short formats. Based on the filmmaker’s individual needs, a mentor is chosen to support and strengthen their artistic signature - whether through coaching or personal consultancy.
Jury Statement: "In cinema we have the opportunity to lend a voice to people who might shape our society and act as role models. Unfortunately, however, these stories are rarely told. We are delighted to meet such a perspective in "Kurinji" and therefore award the Kompagnon fellowship to Payal Sethi. Her precise narrative allows us to share in the life of Laly, a woman from Kerala in India, whose husband has gone to the Gulf region as a migrant worker. She has not heard from him for months now, and yet Laly does all she can to sustain her life and care for her family. The topic of labour migration is examined here from the perspective of the one who stays at home. The script is convincing, with a gripping plot and well-worked dialogues, including carefully considered omissions; a tangible atmosphere is created as a result."
Jury Statement: "This year's Kompagnon Fellowship goes to Jonas Bak, who tells the story of a couple dealing with mental illness in "She Makes and Unmakes". We were convinced by the quiet nuances of the script and the characters’ mutual love and conflicts, as well as the visual concept. The searching camera moves independently through the space and so becomes a character in itself. We get to know two people who are there for each other despite inner barriers and cultural differences. It is a universal love story that is touching not least because of the director's personal perspective; one that deals with major life crises which are often tabooed or stigmatised."
Traces of the Phoenix, Perspektive Deutsches Kino
Jury Statement: "We would like to commend the concept of the hybrid film "Traces of the Phoenix", which is ambitious in its content as well as its artistry. Places and stories are linked poetically and associatively to trigger fresh insights for the viewer. Bridges are built between political and social themes such as post-colonialism and the slave trade, activism and self-sufficiency, family and work, religion and identity. The film aims to adopt a standpoint subtly while contributing to current social debates from a personal perspective. The submission by Jide Akinleminu already reveals intense engagement with the complex narrative in its historical and art-historical references, and arouses our interest in this film."