For 2016, Berlinale Talents explores “The Nature of Relations”. Can you provide some insight as to why you choose that theme?

Very soon, Berlinale Talents will once again bring together 300 Talents from twelve different disciplines and from places all over the world. Without question, creating relations is central to our work in many ways. But there is still more to discover: How do these inner and outer relations actually look, what are the inherent qualities of interconnected working and thinking, and what are the best methods to share knowledge and experience? How can singular interrelations – for example between technical elements of a movie, between different parts of a story or people working together – influence the bigger picture of a film? To stay with the metaphor of ‚nature‘, we aim to explore both the forest and its trees.

How can the Talents benefit from this?

Talents in discussion - photo by Peter Himsel
Talents in discussion - photo by Peter Himsel
Providing the Talents and around 100 invited experts from the Berlinale and the European Film Market with the chance to meet and exchange ideas is certainly the best way to create relations. For the creation of a suitable, fruitful environment, around 100 workshops, panels and other get-togethers are currently in the making. For example, we aim to literally visualize and thereby relate Talents to the future

audiences of their projects in an experimental workshop. We will send our cinematographers on a journey to explore and to better communicate their inner visual images to others. Or we are interested in what deeper psychological powers and forces are at work on complex film sets. And we have just invited renowned masters of animation film to draw pictures of their work and to create bridges to other formats of film. The full programme will be published in January, so let’s keep details secret for a while.

Do you have new formats planned?

In fact, the Talents’ involvement as active contributors will be more visible throughout new and already established formats. This year’s 300 participants are more experienced than ever before. So it is just natural to let them take over the experts-chair more often. For example, every morning after breakfast, all 300 Talents are invited to the new ‘Talent Circles‘. The setup in the room will change in relation to the respective topic of the day, such as the question of producing and distributing films in a certain area of the world. The ‘Talent Circles’ will consist of three to four related subtopics to be discussed with experts in smaller rounds. Everybody can roam freely from round to round, listen here, share knowledge there and create his or her very own network of ideas and people.

How will this translate into the different disciplines of filmmaking?

As one of the rare training initiatives worldwide in which all members of a film crew rub shoulders with each other for almost a week, everybody can consider Berlinale Talents also as his or her personal testing field for collaborative working and thinking. We love to listen, we share knowledge with curiosity and celebrate the nice surprises that come with these encounters. If you want, this is also our vision for collaborative filmmaking in general. A cultural hub like Berlinale Talents, which brings together open-minded people from over 75 countries, various social backgrounds and many more cultures, can help to overcome obstacles and to cross borders. Today more than ever before, creating relations in this respect is a necessity.