The programme is set — and yet everything’s still open. That’s not a contradiction: the approximately 100 events at Berlinale Talents are the result of a dialogue between the 250 Talents, the festival’s filmmakers, guests from the film industry, and the local Berlin audience — as well as the unique cultural and social perspectives they all bring with them. This year’s theme, “Mistakes”, is not about the flops, failures, and fumbles of the film world, but primarily about honest conversations and the resulting impulse for change in the cultural sector and in ourselves.

Public Talks: Charlotte Rampling, André Téchiné, the International Jury, and Other Prominent Guests

The Talents network is pulsating, and a total of 20 renowned alumni are returning as guests, including the Golden Bear winner Adina Pintilie and the directors David Lowery, Guy Nattiv, Teona Strugar Mitevska, and many more. In the programme, they stand side by side with prominent guests from the Berlinale programme, such as the recipient of this year’s Honorary Golden Bear, Charlotte Rampling, as well as the Competition directors André Téchiné and Nadav Lapid. Roberto Saviano, whose novel was the basis of Claudio Giovannesi’s Competition entry La paranza dei bambini, will join Berlinale Talents for a rare public talk. Members of the International Jury will open the public programme on Sunday with a demonstration of true honesty: the talk “around the kitchen table” of HAU1 will be devoted to their favourite mistakes and the improvements they would like to see in the film world. Open dialogue will also be the focus when Tendo Nagenda, VP of Original Film at Netflix, discusses his views on the streaming platform and the kinds of stories, formats and audiences he is on the lookout for with a large group of Talents.

Never a Mistake: Collaboration, Diversity, Gender Equality, Respect

Films are the result of the interaction of many people. Creatives who take this into account are increasingly relying on low hierarchies and non-violent communication. A strong voice in the adult industry, Erika Lust confronts the androcentric space of pornography and mass media to ask new questions about the space of social responsibility in filmmaking. The Live World Building workshop is also about working with others on an equal footing — and about utopias. Together with the audience, experts including the production designer Alex McDowell and the political activist General Jeff (the “Mayor of Skid Row”) will playfully rethink mistakes of our recent past. Their goal is a better future — and a fascinating tool for developing stories. Changes of perspective will also be up for debate as emerging filmmakers grapple with issues related to the cinematic representation of Africa from both internal and external points of view.

Always a Mistake: Avoiding Lateral Thinking

For one week, the interaction of the trades at Berlinale Talents, ranging from conceptualisation to post-production and distribution, will once again be shown from a practical angle. Together with philosopher and film critic Dana Linssen, the documentary filmmakers Jan Soldat and Manuel Abramovich will explore art of sensitively conducted film dialogues about taboo topics. Also on hand will be the prop and model maker Simon Weisse from Berlin-Neukölln (the creator of miniatures for Wes Anderson), the sound designer Peter Albrechtsen, and the foley artist Heikki Kossi (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki) — specialists who will join in the discussion of “Mistakes” by revealing exactly where the devil lurks in the details. In addition to post-production and its technical pitfalls, which are only increasing in the digital age, the programme will include more discussions of innovative storytelling and distribution models. For example, the Talents alumni Bass Breche and Amin Dora from Lebanon will offer a case study of their international award-winning interactive web series — and also touch on issues of freedom and censorship on the Internet.

The 25 public events at a glance

Berlinale Talents: Mistakes / opening talk with members of the International Jury. Supported by Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

In Free Fall: Joys of Trial and Error/ with David Lowery (Alumnus). Developing ideas is a meandering process. The indie director takes us through his inspiration playlist for A Ghost Story and The Old Man & the Gun.

Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung / Award Ceremony The film prize honours courageous German-Arab film collaborations. The ten nominees and winners of 2019 will be presented.

Adolescence: The Cinema of Téchiné / with André Téchiné. In conversation with Peter Cowie, the French master offers insights into his work and stories of a never-ending journey towards adulthood.

The States of Mistakes / with James Schamus. The producer and writer extraordinaire (Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain) broadens our minds in a keynote about the role(s) of failure.

Berlinale Homage: The Look — Charlotte Rampling / with Charlotte Rampling. The Honorary Golden Bear recipient talks about her life’s work with film historian Peter Cowie. In cooperation with Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen.

In the Aftermath: Saviano’s Writings / with Roberto Saviano. The essayist, novelist, and screenwriter reflects upon the severe effects of speaking truth to lawlessness.

Continental Drift: New Views on Africa / with Neus Ballús, Perivi Katjavivi, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Tiny Mungwe (all Alumni). Emerging filmmakers debate changing representations of Africa, which drift in and out of the continent. Supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Kill Your Darlings / with Susan Korda. Mistakes that enrich the final edit. The editor unveils the pitfalls of her craft and discusses the “politics of the editing room”.

Mining for the Real: Researching Docs / with Nikolaus Geyrhalter. “There is no reality, only realities,” says the master of slow documentary film. Here he reveals his research processes, which always dig deep.

World Building Live: Alternate Histories of Our Future / with General Jeff, Ana López Ortego, Alex McDowell, Paul Moore, Lejla Sadiku. Let’s change the mistakes of the past! This workshop with multidisciplinary experts focuses on new approaches to storytelling.

Facts Made Film: Researching Fiction / with Teona Strugar Mitevska (Alumna), Labina Mitevska, Guy Nattiv (Alumnus), Danielle Macdonald. What’s the story behind the facts? A discussion with Competition and Panorama directors and actors about their films “inspired by true events”.

Sweet Streams: What’s Next on Netflix for Filmmakers / with Tendo Nagenda. The VP of Original Films at Netflix talks with Talents about the streaming provider’s future and opportunities for filmmakers. In cooperation with the European Film Market.

Reinventing Porn: Erika’s Ethics / with Erika Lust. Confronting the androcentric space of mass media and porn, Erika asks a new set of questions about the place of social responsibility in filmmaking.

Steps, Shots and Silence: Sound and Foley in Docs / with Peter Albrechtsen, Heikki Kossi. In a live workshop, the sound and foley experts show how the question of realism versus reality arises in documentary films.

Curious Choices: The End of Mistakes / with Nadav Lapid. The filmmaker (Synonymes, Berlinale Competition) relates “Mistakes” to life’s contradictions as a driving force for his stories and characters.

Survival Guide: Endangered Images / with Dirk Meier, Niko Remus, Nicholas Goodwin. The ultimate post-production toolkit for everyone wanting to safeguard the quality of their images in the digital age. Supported by ARRI.

Neither Wrong Nor Right: Interactive Series / with Bass Breche, Amin Dora (both Alumni). The Lebanese web series creators reveal the rules and liberties of interactive storytelling. Within the scope of Drama Series Days and supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

M - The Making of a Series / with Christoph Brunner, Martin Gschlacht, Hannes Salat. Together, the editor, cinematographer and production designer illuminate their cooperation on “M – A City Hunts a Murderer”, the series adaptation of Fritz Lang’s masterpiece. Within the scope of Drama Series Days and supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

Better Be Careful: Intimate Dialogues / with Manuel Abramovich (Alumnus), Jan Soldat. Film critic Dana Linssen and two documentary filmmakers discuss the art of intimate dialogues on taboo topics. Supported by Goethe-Institut.>

Bankruptcy and Resurrection: How Producers Fail Better / Cédomir Kolar, Roshanak Behesht Nedjad, Chelsea Winstanley (Alumna) The end is a beginning. International producers draw practical conclusions about supposedly final moments in business. Supported by Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

Open Debates: Participatory Films / with Adina Pintilie, Bianca Oana (both Alumnae), Verena von Stackelberg and curators from the WOLF cinema. The Golden Bear winners of 2018 and cinema curators discuss the dialogue-based promotion strategy of Touch Me Not. Supported by Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

The Devil Is in the Detail: Prop and Model Making / with Simon Weisse. The prop and model maker from Berlin (Isle of Dogs, Grand Budapest Hotel) shares the joys and devilish details of his craft.

Keep Exploring: Spaces of Discovery / with Nanouk Leopold, Joanna Hogg. The European auteurs invite the audience to join them on an expedition into the very distinct cinematic spaces they create for the screen.

Battle for the Big Screen: Future of Cinema Young filmmakers and representatives from the fields of world sales, production, distribution and VOD discuss the unique selling points of cinema. In cooperation with Berlinale Goes Kiez.

Berlinale Talents Alumni Screenings with Q&A

Systemsprenger (System Crasher)
Alumni: Nora Fingscheidt (Director), Jonas Weydemann (Producer) | Competition

Chão (Landless)
Alumni: Camila Freitas (Director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer), Marina Meliande (Editor) | Forum

Knives and Skin
Alumna: Jennifer Reeder (Director, Screenwriter) | Generation

Buoyancy
Alumni: Rodd Rathjen (Director, Screenwriter), Kristina Ceyton (Producer), Michael Latham (Cinematographer) | Panorama

Screening Shorts (with films from Berlinale Shorts and Generation)

Yulia & Juliet
Alumni: Charlotte Scott-Wilson (Assistant Director), Erik Glijnis (Producer)

Lidérc úr (Mr. Mare)
Alumni: Ron Dyens & Gábor Osváth (Producers)

Les petites vagues (Little Waves)
Alumnus: Hany Ouichou (Executive Producer)

Blue Boy
Alumnus: Manuel Abramovich (Director, Producer, Cinematographer)

Mot Khu Dat Tot (Blessed Land)
Alumnus: Lan Pham Ngoc (Director)

Please note: The complete Berlinale Talents programme will be available online on January 29. Tickets to public events and film screenings can be purchased starting February 4 on www.berlinale.de or at the festival box offices.

The festival director Dieter Kosslick established Berlinale Talents in 2003 under the name of Talent Campus. “It was our objective to build an international network for rising talent. At Berlinale Talents, emerging filmmakers have the chance to make new connections, learn from experienced filmmakers and exchange ideas. I am delighted that Talents alumni have realised so many successful projects over the years and that they are helping to shape the international film landscape,” comments Dieter Kosslick. Today’s initiative comprises nearly 8,000 alumni from all over the world and includes seven annual Talents International initiatives, which are held in collaboration with film institutions in Buenos Aires, Durban, Guadalajara, Sarajevo, Beirut, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

Download the press release in German | English

Berlinale Talents Head of Press:
Marie Ketzscher
talents.press@berlinale.de
Tel. +49.30.259 20.518

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.