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Talents Footprints

When the United Nations set out their Sustainable Development Goals, we embraced them as an opportunity to reflect on our own practices and those of our participating filmmakers. Our Talents and 8,500 alums not only constantly collaborate across borders but are also incredibly socially aware and active, so we decided to focus on four key areas:

“Gender Equality and Diversity”, “Quality Education and Work”, “Climate Action” and “Peace, Justice and Understanding”.

We give our applicants a chance to foreground their own film-related social initiatives. We’ve introduced a range of events focusing on these issues and take constant measures to become better ourselves and e.g. reduce our carbon footprint. What’s more, we provide support throughout the entire year. Our Kompagnon Fellowship provides support for creatives based in Germany; the Mastercard Enablement Programme nurtures projects making an impact around the world; and the Berlin Film Residencies provide an overview of residencies in Berlin and abroad.

 

“As a filmmaker, your talent is certainly not only to be found in your films. We want to encourage our Talents and alumni to create and expand film-related social projects that will bring about positive change.”

Florian Weghorn and Christine Tröstrum, Berlinale Talents

Festival Activities

The Berlinale is committed to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in tackling the biggest challenges of our time. Achieving these goals depends on everybody – governments, corporations, organisations and individuals. The Berlinale seeks to highlight the special responsibility of the film industry in achieving them.

#17Goals at the 70th Berlinale

While much remains to be done to become more resource-friendly, over the past years we have taken a number of steps to reduce our environmental impact. For example, at the Dine & Shine dinner we offer an exclusively vegetarian and locally sourced menu, and we have eliminated the use of disposable cups and bottles as well as reduced the use of paper in our print products. A lot more can be achieved with a network of like-minded partners by our side, including UNESCO, Mastercard, the German Federal Foreign Office, DW Akademie and the Little Sun Foundation.

Every year, numerous Berlinale Talents events tackle the subjects of equality and diversity, fair working conditions, environmental sustainability and international understanding, including: Browse more in our programme of events.
 Talents Footprints panellists © David Ausserhofer, Berlinale 2020
Talents Footprints panellists © David Ausserhofer, Berlinale 2020 1 / 5
 Footprints panellists Christine Tröstrum, Dr. Keith Nurse and Friederike Kamm © Bettina Ausserhofer, Berlinale 2019
Footprints panellists Christine Tröstrum, Dr. Keith Nurse and Friederike Kamm © Bettina Ausserhofer, Berlinale 2019 2 / 5
 At the Early Bird Breakfast  © David Ausserhofer, Berlinale 2020
At the Early Bird Breakfast © David Ausserhofer, Berlinale 2020 3 / 5
 All set for the Dine & Shine dinner © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2019
All set for the Dine & Shine dinner © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2019 4 / 5
 Yulia Evina Bhara and Ulrike Ottinger at the Dine & Shine dinner © Chiara Ferrau, Berlinale 2018
Yulia Evina Bhara and Ulrike Ottinger at the Dine & Shine dinner © Chiara Ferrau, Berlinale 2018 5 / 5
Every year, numerous Berlinale Talents events tackle the subjects of equality and diversity, fair working conditions, environmental sustainability and international understanding, including: Browse more in our programme of events.
 

“We found the global submissions both inspired and inspiring. With their projects and initiatives, socially-engaged filmmakers are working precisely where art and cinema have the greatest impact: namely, in having a sustainable and inclusive effect on society.”

Dominga Ortúzar, Wim Wenders and Jeannette Liendo, Mastercard Enablement Programme Jury 2020

Mastercard Enablement Programme

Dedicated to doing good by doing well, the Mastercard Enablement Programme provides three selected fellows with mentoring, financial support and public awareness for their film-related workshops, campaigns or networks that contribute to their local communities in an inclusive and impactful way.

Mastercard’s Jessica Claar explains: “For us, filmmakers are motors for change, not just by what they bring to the screen, but also for their ideas on how to create a fairer world in which to live and work. With our programme, we hope to encourage and support you in leaving behind your footprint.”

A jury consisting of Wim Wenders, Jeannette Liendo and Dominga Ortúzar evaluated over 50 applications from around the globe and selected the following three projects. In addition, Wim Wenders offered insights and encouragement to all 250 participants during Berlinale Talents 2020.

The three inaugural fellows are:

image of Anam Abbas

Anam Abbas, Pakistan

Documentary Association of Pakistan

A pilot mentorship and training scheme in the city of Quetta that will work with ten emerging documentary makers from the Hazara, Baloch and Pashtun ethnic communities to overcome sectarian and ethnic division in an otherwise vibrant cultural centre of Pakistan.

“The fellowship is a major recognition for our work and will open many doors, I believe, for partnership and support. Financial stability is the biggest challenge. Division of labour also becomes challenging in a unstructured, non hierarchical, volunteer based collective.”

image of Diego Sarmiento

Diego Sarmiento Pagán, Peru

The Seeds Project

An educational project for indigenous children in the Andes. Through screenings and classes at rural schools, protagonists from the documentary “Mothers of the Land” will pass on their knowledge of traditional organic farming practices and pride in their Quechua heritage.


“We would like to work with professionals from Peru or the Latin American region who know the social, agricultural context and the difficulties in accessing places. We want to contact NGOs that work with schools, as well as the schools directly, and build up an online platform.”
image of Sydelle Willow Smith

Sydelle Willow Smith, South Africa

Sunshine Cinema

A solar-powered cinema network with screenings in rural communities. Young people are provided with mobile kits called ‘The Sunbox’ and are trained to become media facilitators, sparking conversation in their communities inspired by the power of African films.


“We want to build a long-term business model and partnerships in a way that would allow us to really expand sustainably. We would also like to patent the prototype of the Sunbox, and thirdly we need to have a stronger footprint in the distribution and international sales space.”
 The Dine & Shine dinner © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
The Dine & Shine dinner © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 1 / 7
 The 2020 Mastercard Enablement Programme Fellows: Anam Abbas, Sydelle Willow Smith and Diego Sarmiento Pagán © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
The 2020 Mastercard Enablement Programme Fellows: Anam Abbas, Sydelle Willow Smith and Diego Sarmiento Pagán © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 2 / 7
 The jury and fellows of the Mastercard Enablement Programme © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
The jury and fellows of the Mastercard Enablement Programme © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 3 / 7
 Talents Circle with Wim Wenders © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
Talents Circle with Wim Wenders © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 4 / 7
 Wim Wenders and participants at the Talents Circle © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
Wim Wenders and participants at the Talents Circle © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 5 / 7
 Florian Weghorn, Rose Beaumont, Wim Wenders, Jeannette Liendo and Christine Tröstrum © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
Florian Weghorn, Rose Beaumont, Wim Wenders, Jeannette Liendo and Christine Tröstrum © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 6 / 7
 Sydelle Willow Smith giving an interview with Deutsche Welle © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020
Sydelle Willow Smith giving an interview with Deutsche Welle © Peter Himsel, Berlinale 2020 7 / 7

The three inaugural fellows are:

image of Anam Abbas

Anam Abbas, Pakistan

Documentary Association of Pakistan

A pilot mentorship and training scheme in the city of Quetta that will work with ten emerging documentary makers from the Hazara, Baloch and Pashtun ethnic communities to overcome sectarian and ethnic division in an otherwise vibrant cultural centre of Pakistan.

“The fellowship is a major recognition for our work and will open many doors, I believe, for partnership and support. Financial stability is the biggest challenge. Division of labour also becomes challenging in a unstructured, non hierarchical, volunteer based collective.”

image of Diego Sarmiento

Diego Sarmiento Pagán, Peru

The Seeds Project

An educational project for indigenous children in the Andes. Through screenings and classes at rural schools, protagonists from the documentary “Mothers of the Land” will pass on their knowledge of traditional organic farming practices and pride in their Quechua heritage.


“We would like to work with professionals from Peru or the Latin American region who know the social, agricultural context and the difficulties in accessing places. We want to contact NGOs that work with schools, as well as the schools directly, and build up an online platform.”
image of Sydelle Willow Smith

Sydelle Willow Smith, South Africa

Sunshine Cinema

A solar-powered cinema network with screenings in rural communities. Young people are provided with mobile kits called ‘The Sunbox’ and are trained to become media facilitators, sparking conversation in their communities inspired by the power of African films.


“We want to build a long-term business model and partnerships in a way that would allow us to really expand sustainably. We would also like to patent the prototype of the Sunbox, and thirdly we need to have a stronger footprint in the distribution and international sales space.”

Kompagnon Fellowship

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.

The recipients of the 2020 Kompagnon Fellowship are:

image of Ian Purnell

Ian Purnell (Berlinale Talents)
“Arctic Link”, Doc Station 2020

“Arctic Link” follows the future geography of the Internet. Shot on a cable-laying vessel in the open seas, the film unveils notions of longing and nostalgia in the space of the World Wide Web, blurring the lines between physical reality and the virtual sphere.


Jury statement: “Arctic Link by Ian Purnell is a hybrid documentary and a visual essay. There is a ship in the Arctic. It will lay the longest fiber optic cable under the eternal ice to provide the world with faster internet connections. This is only possible due to climate change. The hybrid documentary Arctic Link by Ian Purnell combines the stories of the people on the ship with the reality of life in the Arctic village and in virtual love stories. Moreover, it relates human desires to the irreversible effects of our actions on the planet. We are looking forward to an impressive visual journey into the heart of the darkness of our present age.”
image of Hristiana Raykova

Hristiana Raykova (Perspektive Deutsches Kino)
“111”

No longer able to accept her news channel’s restrictions, Bulgarian journalist Miroluba Benatova starts driving a cab so she can continue to report independently. “111” follows her journey through a country that ranks 111th worldwide and last in the EU for press freedom.


Jury statement: “What are we ready to give up for our freedoms? The Bulgarian journalist Miroluba Benatova could no longer accept the new conditions of her news channel. Voluntarily, she went into the precarious situation of working as a taxi driver so that she could continue telling the stories of the people in her country. The director Hristiana Raykova accompanies Miroluba Benatova on her journeys. Passengers become the reflection of a society, in a country that ranks 111th in the world and last in the EU in terms of freedom of the press. In order to give form to the courage and determination of this clever rebellion, we would like to award the Kompagnon-Fellowship to Hristiana Raykova’s film 111.”

Read more in the festival’s press release.

 The 2017 Kompagnon Fellows: Levin Peter (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) and Nora Fingscheidt (Berlinale Talents) © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2017
The 2017 Kompagnon Fellows: Levin Peter (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) and Nora Fingscheidt (Berlinale Talents) © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2017 1 / 5
 The 2020 Kompagnon Fellows: Ian Purnell (Berlinale Talents) and Hristiana Raykova (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2020
The 2020 Kompagnon Fellows: Ian Purnell (Berlinale Talents) and Hristiana Raykova (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2020 2 / 5
 Ian Purnell receiving his award © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2020
Ian Purnell receiving his award © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2020 3 / 5
 2019 Kompagnon Fellow Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu with producer Jonas Weydemann © Jakob Ganslmeier, Berlinale 2019
2019 Kompagnon Fellow Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu with producer Jonas Weydemann © Jakob Ganslmeier, Berlinale 2019 4 / 5
 The 2018 Kompagnon Fellows: Jide Tom Akinleminu (Berlinale Talents) and Julian Radlmaier (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2018
The 2018 Kompagnon Fellows: Jide Tom Akinleminu (Berlinale Talents) and Julian Radlmaier (Perspektive Deutsches Kino) © Daniel Seiffert, Berlinale 2018 5 / 5

The recipients of the 2020 Kompagnon Fellowship are:

image of Ian Purnell

Ian Purnell (Berlinale Talents)
“Arctic Link”, Doc Station 2020

“Arctic Link” follows the future geography of the Internet. Shot on a cable-laying vessel in the open seas, the film unveils notions of longing and nostalgia in the space of the World Wide Web, blurring the lines between physical reality and the virtual sphere.


Jury statement: “Arctic Link by Ian Purnell is a hybrid documentary and a visual essay. There is a ship in the Arctic. It will lay the longest fiber optic cable under the eternal ice to provide the world with faster internet connections. This is only possible due to climate change. The hybrid documentary Arctic Link by Ian Purnell combines the stories of the people on the ship with the reality of life in the Arctic village and in virtual love stories. Moreover, it relates human desires to the irreversible effects of our actions on the planet. We are looking forward to an impressive visual journey into the heart of the darkness of our present age.”
image of Hristiana Raykova

Hristiana Raykova (Perspektive Deutsches Kino)
“111”

No longer able to accept her news channel’s restrictions, Bulgarian journalist Miroluba Benatova starts driving a cab so she can continue to report independently. “111” follows her journey through a country that ranks 111th worldwide and last in the EU for press freedom.


Jury statement: “What are we ready to give up for our freedoms? The Bulgarian journalist Miroluba Benatova could no longer accept the new conditions of her news channel. Voluntarily, she went into the precarious situation of working as a taxi driver so that she could continue telling the stories of the people in her country. The director Hristiana Raykova accompanies Miroluba Benatova on her journeys. Passengers become the reflection of a society, in a country that ranks 111th in the world and last in the EU in terms of freedom of the press. In order to give form to the courage and determination of this clever rebellion, we would like to award the Kompagnon-Fellowship to Hristiana Raykova’s film 111.”

Read more in the festival’s press release.

Berlin Film Residencies

Initiated by Medienboard, the Nipkow Programm and the Berlinale, the Berlin Film Residencies portal offers an overview of various scholarships available to filmmakers in and from Berlin: the Berlin Artist-in-Residence (Berlin AiR) programme, Nipkow Programm, and the Haus am See scholarship. International filmmakers can learn about opportunities in and around Berlin, while creatives based in the capital region can discover work scholarships abroad.

Many Berlinale Talents alumni have gone on to receive a residency in Berlin. In fact, our alumni can simply log into their existing Berlinale Talents online profile to apply for the Berlin Film Residencies. Here is what some of our alums had to say about their experiences:

image of Reem Morsi

Reem Morsi, Egypt/Canada

Berlinale Talents 2018 and Nipkow Programm 2018

“Nipkow is a very embracing environment. The staff members go out of their way to make us feel welcome, supported and instantly part of their Nipkow family.”

image of Pola Shirin Beck

Pola Schirin Beck, Germany

Berlinale Talents 2010 and Berlin AiR fellow 2018

“My summer in Tel Aviv left such a strong impression on me. It was so exciting to be there. I absorbed experiences and encounters that also helped my project. It’s super that Medienboard funds all these opportunities for filmmakers to expand their horizons and spend time in different places around the world.”

Learn more about the Berlin Film Residencies here.

image of Reem Morsi

Reem Morsi, Egypt/Canada

Berlinale Talents 2018 and Nipkow Programm 2018

“Nipkow is a very embracing environment. The staff members go out of their way to make us feel welcome, supported and instantly part of their Nipkow family.”

image of Pola Shirin Beck

Pola Schirin Beck, Germany

Berlinale Talents 2010 and Berlin AiR fellow 2018

“My summer in Tel Aviv left such a strong impression on me. It was so exciting to be there. I absorbed experiences and encounters that also helped my project. It’s super that Medienboard funds all these opportunities for filmmakers to expand their horizons and spend time in different places around the world.”

Learn more about the Berlin Film Residencies here.

Talents Projects

Our participants are a fountain of creativity when it comes to sustainable projects. Explore some of the many areas in which these filmmakers are making a difference.

Gender Equality and Diversity

Ecuadorian producer and distributor Estefania Arregui is the founder and co-director of the feminist film festival Equis. Its advocacy of equal rights extends to photo exhibitions of South American female filmmakers and creative writing workshops that reflect on gender stereotypes.

Quality Education

Distributor Nozuko Poni is an educator and the co-founder of Sunshine Cinema. This South African network of solar-powered mobile cinemas distributes film to rural, underserved communities and helps young people develop the skills they need to build a future for themselves.

Climate Action

These two directors highlight the effects of climate change on communities around the globe. Emil Munk’s films take us to Greenland, where fishermen face vanishing ice shelves, and into the lives of Palestinian farmers as they turn toward practising permaculture. Asmita Shrish’s latest project blends documentary and fiction as it follows a local mountain community in Nepal affected by the harsh realities of climate change.

Peace, Justice & Understanding

Hiona Henare’s latest project retraces the journey her Maori ancestors took from Tahiti to New Zealand in 1000, navigating by the moon and stars. Her process relies on open conversations between crew members as a way to remain true to their story. Fisnik Maxhuni’s latest film is a co-production between Switzerland, Kosovo, France and North Macedonia that aims to revitalise European discourse by listening to marginalised voices.
 Estefania Arregui, Nozuko Poni and Emil Munk.
Estefania Arregui, Nozuko Poni and Emil Munk. 1 / 2
 Asmita Shrish, Hiona Henare and Fisnik Maxhuni.
Asmita Shrish, Hiona Henare and Fisnik Maxhuni. 2 / 2

Climate Action

These two directors highlight the effects of climate change on communities around the globe. Emil Munk’s films take us to Greenland, where fishermen face vanishing ice shelves, and into the lives of Palestinian farmers as they turn toward practising permaculture. Asmita Shrish’s latest project blends documentary and fiction as it follows a local mountain community in Nepal affected by the harsh realities of climate change.

Peace, Justice & Understanding

Hiona Henare’s latest project retraces the journey her Maori ancestors took from Tahiti to New Zealand in 1000, navigating by the moon and stars. Her process relies on open conversations between crew members as a way to remain true to their story. Fisnik Maxhuni’s latest film is a co-production between Switzerland, Kosovo, France and North Macedonia that aims to revitalise European discourse by listening to marginalised voices.