50/50, interdisciplinary and diverse: The Berlinale Talents team is proud to welcome 250 filmmakers from 81 countries to Berlin from February 17-22, 2018, including 128 women and 122 men. For six days they will have the opportunity to engage with one another, experts and the public, to critically question their own artistic standpoint and to further develop their film projects.

A vast array of artistic and technical backgrounds

The selection for 2018 includes, amongst others, Angela Guerrero, the Mexican distributor of Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro (Panorama 2017), Chinese director Yang Qiu, whose short film A Gentle Night (Xiao Cheng Er Yue) was awarded a Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes, and Ana Pfaff, the Spanish editor of Carla Simón’s Summer 1993 (Estiu 1993), which received the GWFF Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale in 2017. Turkish actress Elit Işcan, who played one of the five sisters in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s multiple award-winning Mustang, will also come to Berlinale Talents.

Many of the selected Talents raise questions about their own responsibility in the film industry, or are concerned with current political issues like gender equality. They include the Brazilian producer Marcella Jacques, whose films are about women in precarious conditions, or German director Leonie Krippendorf (Looping), who addresses gender aspects and the vulnerability of the body. Moreover, many participants personify the interdisciplinary character of Berlinale Talents, for example the Egyptian Talent Mohamad El-Hadidi, who works as a successful director, producer, cinematographer and photographer.

Prominent alumni continue to draw on creative potential of Berlinale Talents

As varied as their backgrounds are, one thing unites all 250 participants: Berlinale Talents represents an important stepping stone in their careers. Afterwards, they can look forward to joining an illustrious alumni network that includes the producers Cait Pansegrouw and Elias Ribeiro who realised The Wound (Panorama Opening Film 2017). The Wound, which was further developed by director John Trengove at Berlinale Talents in 2014 and received production and distribution funding from the World Cinema Fund, is currently shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The active alumni community has grown to more than 5,400 former Talents, among them prominent figures such as Cristian Mungiu, Ana Lily Amirpour, Joachim Trier, Elisabeth Moss and David Lowery, whose most recent film, A Ghost Story, was released to wide critical acclaim. For Lowery, Berlinale Talents was a pivotal moment in his professional development: “Berlin is where I first kicked everything off. It was the first time I’d ever received any recognition for anything film-related, and as such it was a momentous jumpstart to my career.”

Selecting 250 Talents for Berlinale Talents 2018

The selected Talents come from the following fields: directing (99), producing (52), acting (13), screenwriting (10), cinematography (17), editing (14), production design (11), sales and distribution (10), score composition (10) and sound design (6). 40 Talents will further develop with their documentary, feature and short film projects in the mentor-guided Project Labs, and eight film critics will join Talent Press to explore new paths in film journalism. The Talents are generally in the fifth to tenth year of their careers and come with professional expertise and festival experience under their belts. In addition to looking at their artistic achievements, the local impact and relevance of their work’s content in their respective countries of origin are also part of the criteria that the international selection committee considers when making their decision.

You can find the selection here:
250 Talents | 40 film projects in the Project Labs

Please note: The complete Berlinale Talents programme will be published on February 6. Tickets to public events and film screenings can be purchased online from February 12 on www.berlinale.de or at the festival box offices.

Download the press release in German | English

Berlinale Talents Press Contact:
Marie Ketzscher
Tel. +49.30.259 20.518
Fax +49.30.259 20.534

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, and is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board.