The Berlinale Talents programme is complete. 25 public talks and five film screenings invite Berlin audiences and 250 Talents to join into a dialogue about filmmaking. It is all about secrets, and not just stage ones: “For 16 years, Berlinale Talents has been the festival’s laboratory, a place for experimenting with and propagating new forms of collaboration and open communication. Top-down paradigms of knowledge just don’t pay off, however sharing and participation are true secrets for success,” says Programme Manager Florian Weghorn.
Jury President and Many Festival Guests from the Competition
It is a tradition for many prominent festival guests to stop by Berlinale Talents, and this year’s roster includes Gus Van Sant (Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot), Christian Petzold and Barbara Auer (Transit), as well as Jury President Tom Tykwer along with other jury members. Competition guests include several Berlinale Talents alumni, such as David Zellner, who presents Damsel with his brother Nathan and discusses the humorous treatment of gender and genre aspects in their “feminist Western.” The only two debut films in Competition – Touch Me Not (Adina Pintilie) and Las herederas (Marcelo Martinessi) – are both by alumni directors. Las herederas will open the public screenings and discussions of alumni films at HAU Hebbel am Ufer on Saturday, February 17.
Death, Sex and Ghosts: Of Subtle and Open Secrets
For six days, international experts bring a variety of film secrets into the limelight. Another Competition guest, Lav Diaz, talks with Vincenzo Bugno, the Project Manager of the World Cinema Fund, about the ghosts of the past that populate his movies and the hypnotic cinematic aesthetics of his musical Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil). Lucile Hadžihalilović (De Natura) and Kamila Andini (Sekala Niskala/ The Seen and Unseen) join Berlinale Talents from the Generation section to explore how they use genre elements and magic to encounter the mystery of death and transience in the liveliest possible ways. Marcio Reolon and Filipe Matzembacher (Tinta bruta, Panorama), Mónica Lairana (La cama, Forum) and João Pedro Rodrigues (O Ornitólogo) dedicate their talk to intimate secrets: they explain how to achieve authenticity, closeness and a safe space on set when representing and producing sexuality on screen.
That good secrets come from well-crafted storytelling is something that Baran bo Odar (Berlinale Talents alumnus) and Jantje Friese, the makers behind the new German Netflix series Dark, have proven. They will lead a practical case study on “Murder Management,” i.e. how and when to reveal or withhold information in crime and mystery formats. The second event in the context of Berlinale Drama Series Days expands an already well-known secret: Finnish short series for web and TV are on the rise. The makers of Blind Donna and Nerd: DragonSlayer666 introduce their original concepts for reaching younger viewers in particular.
At Berlinale Talents, every branch of the film industry is at home, and the “Secrets” theme can be literally seen and heard: At the end of the Talents week, composer and musician Ryūichi Sakamoto will encounter Carsten Nicolai, the minimal musician known as alva noto, to speak about the hidden touch points between sound and music (together they composed the music for The Revenant, amongst many others). Nicolai is also the new mentor of the Sound Studio. Cinematography Talents meet with the Portuguese DoP Rui Poças, whose spherical imagery can be experienced in films by Miguel Gomes and João Pedro Rodrigues, amongst others. The Camera Studio workshop, supported by ARRI, is dedicated to Poças’ most recent cinematic work, Lucrecia Martel’s Zama.
The World in Miniature: With Collaboration, Diversity, and More Women, Things Go Better
Berlinale Talents is a big social and global experiment. 250 Talents, of which in 2018 a majority are women (128/122), come from 81 countries with their own attitudes, cultures and work-specific methods in order to discover new forms of collaboration. The bestowal of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation on February 18 for courageous German-Arab film projects shows that cinema is also an important driver of cultural understanding.
The debates on how to achieve a better gender and power balance are being tackled structurally at Berlinale Talents: Fair working conditions, proper wages and a diverse team are at the core of Talents-only networking formats, such as the newly shaped Talent Pools Making/Breaking the Rules. Josephine Decker (Madeline’s Madeline, Forum) offers her own approaches to authenticity and immediacy as an actor and director in a public workshop with the theme “The Non-Actor in You.” At the centre of this year’s summit, two of the world’s most renowned camerawomen, the American DoP Nancy Schreiber (the first and only woman thus far to receive the ASC President’s Award, in 2017) and the French cinematographer Agnès Godard will share and discuss with the public audience their vision of a future where more women make up the “technical crew.” The Berlinale Talents Co-Partner Nespresso also takes up the topical issue of representation and dedicates this year’s Nespresso Talents Vertical Video Competition to the theme “The Difference She Makes.” Participants are encouraged to highlight the achievements of women in different areas of life.
Two event formats supported by Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union dive directly into the practice of collaborative filmmaking. The producers of Pendular (Panorama 2017) explain how cooperation and co-production go hand in hand. Also, the team of the best debut prize winner at Generation in 2017, Estiu 1993, returns to Berlin. Together with their sales agent and German distributor, they lay bare the challenges of placing a festival favourite within a complex cinema landscape in Europe.
The Future at Every Street Corner: How Film Is Developing
Technological innovation should make it easier for filmmakers to work, regardless of the financial resources they find for their projects. Even a million-dollar production like Blade Runner 2049 can be broken down into its essential artistry, in this case quite concretely as part of the “Lighting the Future” talk with the film’s gaffer Krisztián Paluch and light programmer Titusz Badonics and ARRI experts.
Berlinale Talents has traditionally explored innovative concepts for interdisciplinary storytelling in a live event with the experimentation-hungry World Building Institute (WBI) from Los Angeles. New to the team this year is the United Nations and various interdisciplinary mentors. Together with the Production Design Talents and WBI expert Alex McDowell, they will develop, before the public’s eyes, stories that are literally emerging from a “street corner of the future.”
What Comes Next: the Consequences of Creative Work
The impact of their artistic work is one of the most important indicators for selecting the 250 Talents and is addressed in many events. Journalist and bestselling author Eric Schlosser (Food, Inc., The Bomb) joins Berlinale Talents to give the context for his investigative research methods and the opinion-changing films that ensued. Using their current projects about the nouveau rich and about terrorism, video essayist and internet artist Kevin B. Lee and photographer and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (Generation Wealth, Panorama) examine how visual cultures subliminally influence our perception: Do we create images or do images create us?
Secret forces are also at work when Berlinale Shorts curator Maike Mia Höhne invites visual artist Mischa Leinkauf over for a talk. Showing excerpts from his latest installation live on screen, Leinkauf (of the artist duo Wermke/Leinkauf) wonders how he can preserve his unruly and subversive street art aesthetic while at the same time continually evolving his art forms.
Finally, Berlinale Talents looks forward to hosting Samuel Maoz, who will give one of the many Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Federal Foreign Office supported talks at Berlinale Talents. In 2012, he was invited to the first Berlinale Residency with Foxtrot. Only recently the Israeli director received the Grand Jury Prize in Venice and a spot on the Oscars® shortlist. The film, which was highly praised in the international film world and press, remains highly controversial in Israel. The consequences and freedom of art will not remain secret in his conversation with Katriel Schory, the internationally acclaimed director of the Israel Film Fund.
Berlinale Talents Press Contact:
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.