Berlinale Talents 2019: No Talent’s Perfect

At the coming edition of Berlinale Talents (February 9-14, 2019), altogether 250 Talents, some 130 experts, and the public will gather at HAU Hebbel am Ufer to take a deep dive into a subject we often like to gloss over: mistakes. From minor mishaps to full-blown disasters, it’s time to bare all and discuss how we can learn from failure and even harness imperfection as a deliberate aesthetic choice and a wilful act of creative rebellion. Explore our 2019 theme here.

Meet the Decision Makers

Our selection committee has three new members this year. Film producer Marcie Jost (pictured above right) has been joined by German director Jan Krüger, Dutch critic Dana Linssen and Argentinian programmer Agustina Arbetman (left to right). We spoke to them as they emerged from our viewing room after two months of combing through 3,401 applications from 130 countries. “We’re very pleased to announce that we once again have gender parity among our selected participants – for the third year running,” said Marcie. The team discusses noticeable trends among this year’s submissions and how to overcome professional mistakes in this interview.

Alumni Highlights: Festivals and Awards

Over the past six months, former Talents have won a whole slate of accolades. At the Locarno Festival (Aug 7-17), Singaporean director Yeo Siew Hua bagged the Golden Leopard with A Land Imagined, produced by Fran Borgia, while Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor won Best Director with Too Late to Die Young, edited by Catalina Marín Duarte. In Venice (Aug 29 - Sept 8), the Special Jury Prize went to Australian period thriller The Nightingale, produced by Kristina Ceyton. And Syrian director Soudade Kaadan won the Lion of the Future Award with her fiction debut The Day I Lost My Shadow. Explore our full list of Locarno, Venice and Toronto winners here.

The Oscar season is almost upon us, and eight alumni films are on the Best Foreign Language Film longlist. We’re delighted that three of them participated in our Talent Project Market: Ofir Raul Graizer’s The Cakemaker (Israel, TPM 2014), Gjorce Stavreski’s Secret Ingredient (Macedonia, TPM 2015), and Gustavo Rondon Cordova’s La Familia (Venezuela, TPM 2014). See an overview of the alumni Oscar entries here.

Spanning the Globe: The Talents International Initiatives

The summer and autumn are always packed with one Talents International initiative after the other. With a mix of workshops and networking events, Talents Durban (July 20-24) encouraged 19 rising film professionals from 13 African countries to “Break the Rules.” At Talents Sarajevo (August 11-16), 60 participants from Southeast Europe and the Southern Caucasus delved into “The Freedom of Chaos” with experts such as Asghar Farhadi and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Now in its fifth year, Talents Beirut (September 13-17) invited 20 Arab creatives from the fields of cinematography, editing and sound to learn from noted mentors and explore the German Film Week.

The third edition of Talent Press Rio (November 2-8) hosted six critics from Brazil, Mozambique and Portugal during the Festival do Rio for a series of editorial meetings, filmmaker talks, screenings, panels, and a master class with Olivier Assayas. Talents Tokyo (November 19-24) invited 15 directors and producers from East and Southeast Asia for an intensive week of presentations, workshops and perhaps a sneaky karaoke session or two. The Talents Tokyo Award 2018 went to Malaysian filmmaker Amanda Nell Eu (BT 2018) for her project Tiger Stripes. Read the jury statement here.

If you’re curious about cinema from all corners of the globe, be sure to check out our critics’ reports from Durban, Sarajevo and Rio on our dedicated Talent Press website. Also, in an exciting new collaboration between Talents Buenos Aires and Kinoscope, you can enjoy in-depth monthly articles on Latin American cinema here.

Call for Applications: Nipkow Fellowship in Berlin

How would you like to spend three months in Berlin to develop your next film project? Then hurry up and submit your application to the Nipkow Programme, which we’re very happy to support and which several Talents alumni have already completed. It consists of a three-month fellowship in Berlin between June and November 2019, a monthly grant of €1,500 and tailored workshops and consultations with script advisers or potential producers/co-producers.

Applications are invited from screenwriters, directors, producers, animators or post-production specialists who have already made at least one feature film and are currently developing another feature-length project. Apply by December 31, 2018, 6:00pm CET via the Nipkow website. Berlinale Talents alumni can apply using their existing online profile.

Want to know more? We spoke to our alumna Reem Morsi, who is currently a Nipkow fellow, about her experience there. She raved about the programme and our fair city: “Berlin has a magical feel to it. I’ve only had great experiences here. I feel like I’m at my most creative here, I feel motivated for life!” Learn more here.


Thanks for reading. Happy holidays from all of us at Berlinale Talents! We can’t wait to see you in February 2019.

Upcoming Dates

January 6, 2019: Registration deadline for the European Film Market (February 7-14, 2019) and accreditation deadline for the Berlinale (February 7-17, 2019)

February 7-17, 2019: 69th Berlin International Film Festival

February 9-14, 2019: Berlinale Talents 2019

February 25, 2019: Deadline for production funding from the World Cinema Fund

March 8-13, 2019: Talents Guadalajara welcomes 50 filmmakers from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to its 11th edition

Closing Credits

Photo credits:
1) Key visual by STATE Design
2) Selection committee: Jan Krüger, Dana Linssen, Agustina Arbetman and Marcie Jost
3) Chilean director Dominga Sotomayor with her Best Director award at Locarno © Marco Abram, Locarno Festival
4) Speed Matching Session at Talents Beirut © Joanna Kai, Talents Beirut 2018
5) Bird’s eye view of the Berlinale © Peter Himsel, Berlinale Talents 2018
6) Berlinale Talents team photo © Nadja Wehling, Berlinale Talents 2018

We welcome your comments and/or queries! For more information, please visit www.berlinale-talents.de or contact us at talents@berlinale.de

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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, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board.