Berlinale Talents (previously Berlinale Talent Campus) is the talent development programme of the Berlin International Film Festival (also called Berlinale). An annual summit and networking platform for 200 outstanding creatives from the fields of film and drama series, the events take place in February at the three venues of HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theatre in Berlin-Kreuzberg.
The initiative was founded in 2003 after the director of the Berlin International Film Festival Dieter Kosslick announced his plans to create a platform to support the next generation of filmmakers within the festival. Previously named Berlinale Talent Campus, the new title Berlinale Talents has been in place since October 2013. It has grown to become a one-of-a-kind forum for film professionals and cinema lovers alike, featuring public talks, discipline-specific workshops, Talents Labs for project development and networking events. The interplay and interdependence of different film disciplines has been the distinguishing characteristic of Berlinale Talents right from the outset, with each of the 13 creative disciplines covered considered of equal importance in their contribution to filmmaking. The platform is realised with the principal support of the Minister of State for Culture and the Media, Creative Europe - MEDIA programme of the European Union and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, alongside the Federal Foreign Office and Goethe-Institut who have supported it since its founding, and is coordinated by a project team under Project Manager Christine Tröstrum and Programme Manager Florian Weghorn.
In 2022, Berlinale Talents celebrated its 20th edition, with an alumni community of over 9,000 and with seven Talents International initiatives around the world. Returning to the Berlinale with films in official selection were 116 Berlinale Talents alumni, with work across 75 films. The director of 2022's Golden Bear-winning film "Alcarràs", Carla Simón, was a Berlinale Talent in 2015 when she was selected for the Script Station with her project "Summer 1993", which went on to premiere in Berlinale Generation.
- 2022: "Labours of Cinema"
- 2021: "Dreams"
- 2020: "Collectives"
- 2019: "Mistakes – How to Fail Better"
- 2018: "Secrets"
- 2017: "Courage: Against All Odds"
- 2016: "The Nature of Relations"
- 2015: "2015: A Space Discovery"
- 2014: "Ready to Play? – Breaking the Rules"
- 2013: "Some Like It Hot – Filmmakers as Entertainers"
- 2012: "Changing Perspectives"
- 2011: "Framespotting – Filmmakers Positioning Themselves"
- 2010: "Cinema Needs Talent: Looking for the Right People"
- 2009: "Suddenly it all happened – The Turning Point in Close-up"
- 2008: "Screening Emotions – Cinema's Finest Asset"
- 2007: "Home Affairs – Privacy, Films and Politics"
- 2006: "At the Cutting Edge of Making Movies"
- 2005: "Designing Your Future"
- 2004: "Let's Get Passionate About Film!"
- 2003: "You Always Remember the First Time"
Each year up to 3000 filmmakers from approximately 130 countries apply to the programme. An international committee selects 200 talents, inviting them to Berlin. Berlinale Talents supports the participants, who are generally in the first ten years of their career, in positioning themselves in the filmmaking industry. With experts and renowned filmmakers they can then discuss innovations and trends in the business, develop their own projects in the project labs and present them to a diverse festival public
The Berlinale Talents alumni community now numbers over 9,000, whose profiles you can explore on the website. The programme also keeps track of their alumni's work, from lists of alumni selected for festivals and awards, to interviews with alumni working on film-related projects that focus on sustainability and climate change, for example. You can read the updates in their Alumni Network.
Consisting of a Summit and Talents Labs, the participants can choose from up to 35 individual events to attend, many of which are open to the public.
The Summit programme of Berlinale Talents offers a range of master classes and interactive panel discussions. Approximately 15 sessions focus on an annually changing topic featuring a variety of formats and set-ups: In the ‘grand format’ sessions at the main theatre (HAU1), experts of international reputation give insights into their work. During the mid-scale ‘atelier’ sessions in HAU2 and HAU3 experienced filmmakers and the audience are invited to enter into a dialogue.
- The Talent Project Market (for producers and directors) offers filmmakers the chance to present their projects at the Berlinale Co-Production Market and to get in contact with producers, financiers, distributors and sales agents. The ten selected projects also compete for the VFF Talent Highlight Award, three of which are pitched to industry guests at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. The winner receives EUR 10,000 and the two runners-up EUR 1,000 each.
- At the Script Station Talents work closely with renowned script consultants to fine-tune their scripts, deepen their stories and bring precision and life to their pages. With the support of their mentors, the participants have the opportunity to present their projects to the other attendants and industry professionals at the European Film Market.
- Doc Station enables Talents to advance their work on a particular documentary project and to make improvements with the instructions of professional mentors from the genre. With the support of their mentors, the participants have the opportunity to present their projects to the other attendants and industry professionals at the European Film Market.
- In the Short Film Station Talents move the development of their short film script forward and meet with potential partners to produce their film. With the support of their mentors, the participants have the opportunity to present their projects to the other attendants and industry professionals at the European Film Market.
- The Camera Studio (formerly Post Production Studio) passes knowledge from experts in the fields of lighting, recording, colour correction, cutting and audio mastering to selected talents, following the newest developments in digital technology, cinematography and postproduction.
- The Editing Studio is a collective edting room of sorts, where discussions depart from samples of the Talents' own work and cover the many challenges and merits of working alongside directors, screenwriters and producers. A master class, workshops and case studies held by noted editors enlighten the field of editing from different perspectives and offer the participants invaluable insight and tips into improving and strengthening the narrative structure of their future works.
- In the Production Design Studio the participants learn to sharpen their skills in creating real and virtual spaces and in crafting an atmosphere to convincingly set the stories in.
- The Sound Studio programme focuses on the use of sound in many aspects of the filmmaking process, ranging from designing a sound landscape to the intricacies of sound mixing, composing scores and exploring new technologies, considering the interdisciplinary cooperation with directors, writers and producers. Participants can discuss their current work with sound designers and composers, who will also give a workshop on sound design.
- In the Acting Studio actors are invited to explore a wide range of training opportunities in the fields acting technique, dialogue delivery, casting and more. These rigorous workshops help Acting Studio participants to develop skills to collaborate and communicate with everyone involved in the filmmaking process.
- The Market Studio (formerly Distribution Studio) examines how distributors, sales agents and producers can build their audience and marketing strategy as early as possible in the film production process. By using case studies, connecting to the European Film Market (EFM) and actively meeting filmmakers working on new film projects, participants will expand their network and examine current models of film distribution in various parts of the world.
Talent Press, an initiative of Berlinale Talents in collaboration with FIPRESCI and the Goethe-Institut, is a platform for young film critics and journalists from around the world to acquaint themselves with current trends in world cinema and to review films and events throughout the entire festival. Under the tutelage of prominent film critics they share their impressions and insights through their articles for the Berlinale Talents website and those of its partners - FIPRESCI and Goethe-Institut.
Talents Footprints Mastercard Enablement Programme
Dedicated to doing well by doing good, the Talents Footprints Mastercard Enablement Programme provides three selected fellows with mentoring, financial support and public awareness for their film-related initiatives, networks or platforms that contribute to their local communities in an inclusive and impactful way. The programme is open to Berlinale Talents alumni, who can apply with a film-related social initiative focusing on inclusive, innovative and impactful solutions in one of the following four key domains: Gender Equality and Diversity; Quality Education and Work; Peace, Justice and Understanding; Environmental Awareness and Climate Action, for example a stakeholder group with film-related social goals, training institution, lab or hub, community film venue, festival or distribution platform, or environmental initiative. Selected fellows receive 5,000 Euro financial support for project-related investments and practical support action, as well as the equivalent in personalised mentorship.
Berlinale Talents and Perspektive Deutsches Kino joined forces to award the inaugural “Kompagnon” fellowship in 2017. The fellowship is awarded annually to two directors or screenwriters residing in Germany to support their artistic and professional development.
Eligible to apply are directors and screenwriters of short or feature films who were part of the last edition of Perspektive Deutsches Kino, as well as permanent residents of Germany who will participate in the “Script Station”, “Doc Station” or “Short Film Station” at the upcoming edition of Berlinale Talents. In addition to a stipend of 5.000 Euros (2.500 Euros for short films) for the independent development of a screenplay or project, the “Kompagnon” also provides a mentoring programme to help strengthen the filmmakers’ artistic signature, alongside professional coaching and improved industry networking opportunities.
- 2022: Payal Sethi, Kurinji, Script Station 2022 & Jonas Bak, She Makes and Unmakes, Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
- 2021: Jonas Matauschek, Wir waren Kumpel (Once We Were Pitmen), Doc Station 2021, & Eliza Petkova, Der Arbeiter (The Worker), Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
- 2020: Ian Purnell, Arctic Link, Doc Station 2020 & Hristiana Raykova, 111, Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
- 2019: Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu, Transit Times, Script Station 2019 & Julian Pörksen, Be Continued, Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
- 2018: Jide Tom Akinleminu, When a Farm Goes Aflame, the Flakes Fly Home to Bear the Tale, Doc Station 2018 & Julian Radlmaier, Blutsauger, Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
- 2017: Nora Fingscheidt, Systemsprenger (System Crasher), Script Station 2017 & Levin Peter and Elsa Kremser, Der grüne Wellensittich, Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
International Talents Initiatives
While the roots of Berlinale Talents are firmly planted in Berlin new shoots of the initiative have been sprouting internationally. The Talents International editions, Talents Beirut in Lebanon, Talents Buenos Aires in Argentina, Talents Guadalajara in Mexico, Talents Durban in South Africa, Talents Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Talents Tokyo in Japan have the familiar structure and purpose of their German counterpart; all the while retaining a regional perspective and finding support and the necessary amenities in a locally based international film festival or film school. International Talents initiatives are supported by local partners as well as by the Goethe-Institut. Additionally, International Talent Press programmes take place in Buenos Aires, Rio, Sarajevo, Durban and Guadalajara.
Past Awards (No Longer Active)
Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation
The Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung was a competition and year-long training program offering tailor made workshops to young emerging talents from Germany and the Arab world to realise a joint film project. Three prizes, each worth up to 60,000 euros, were awarded each year. The last edition of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung was in 2021 which, due to the coronavirus pandemic, was a reinvented online training program. Eight German-Arab film teams were nominate and invited to a series of online trainings to further develop their projects, their dossiers and prepare their pitch in front of the Film Prize Jury. Each nominated team received a Development Prize of 10,000 euros. Finally, two teams won an additional Best Pitch Award, each endowed with 10,000 euros. The two winning teams were revealed at the Good Bye, Film Prize! online event on 3 March 2021.
Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation
- Best Pitch - Documentary - The Missing Planet | Germany/Egypt. Directors: Marouan Omara & Tom Rosenberg, Producers: Michael Henrichs & Mark Lotfy
- Best Pitch - Short Fiction - Nobody Wants the Night | Germany/Lebanon. Director: Remi Itani, Producers: Janina Sara Hennemann, Aya Nabulsi
- Documentary - Big Boys Don't Cry | Director: Muhammad Mustapha (Egypt), Producer: Philipp Maurice Raube (Germany), Co-Producer: Hala Lotfy (Egypt)
- Short Fiction Film - Inana | Director: Ragda Alazizi (Syria), Producer: Philipp Döring (Germany), Co-Producer: Ragda Alazizi (Syria)
- Animation - Traitors of the Eyes | Director: Abdelrahman Dnewar (Egypt), Saad Dnewar (Egypt), Producer: Georg Neubert (Germany), Co-Producer: Saad Dnewar (Egypt)
- Short Fiction Film - Homeless Hearts | Director: Mohamed Sabbah (Lebanon), Producers: Bastian Klügel (Germany), Ghina El-Hachem (Lebanon)
- Documentary - Do You Love Me | Director: Lana Daher (Lebanon), Producers: Jasper Mielke (Germany), Lana Daher (Lebanon)
- Documentary - Abo Zabaal 1989 | Director: Bassam Mortada (Egypt), Producers: Anna Bolster (Germany), Kesmat Elsayed (Egypt)
- Short Fiction Film - Maradona's Legs | Director: Firas Khoury (Palestine), Producers: Zorana Musikic (Germany), May Odeh (Palestine)
- Documentary - Purple Sea | Directors: Amel Alzakout, Khaled Abdulwahed (Syria), Producers: Ines Meier (Germany), Khaled Abdulwahed (Syria)
- Animation - How My Grandmother Became a Chair | Director: Nicolas Fattouh (Lebanon), Producers: Fabian Driehorst (Germany), Nermine Haddad (Lebanon)
- Short Fiction Film - Fakh / The Trap | Director: Nada Riyadh (Egypt), Producers: Ayman El Amir (Egypt), Eva Schellenbeck (Germany)
- Documentary - Behind Closed Doors | Director: Yakout Elhababi (Morocco), Producers: Karoline Henkel (Germany), Hind Saih (Morocco)
- Animation - Night | Director: Ahmad Saleh (Jordan), Producers: Jessica Neubauer (Germany), Saleh Saleh (Jordan)
- Short Fiction Film - Tshweesh | Director: Feyrouz Serhal (Lebanon), Producers: Stefan Gierenr (Germany), Lara Abou Saifan (Lebanon), Felipe Lage Coro (Spain)
- Documentary - Miguel's War | Director: Eliane Raheb (Lebanon), Producers: Eliane Raheb (Lebanon), Margot Haiböck, Lissi Muschol (Germany)
- Animation - Four Acts for Syria | Director: Waref Abu Quba, Kevork Mourad (Syria), Producers: Eva Illmer (Germany), Waref Abu Quba (Syria)
- Short Fiction Film - The Parrot | Director: Amjad Al Rasheed, Darin Sallam (Jordan), Producers: Roman Roitman (Germany), Deema Azar (Jordan)
- Documentary - Amal | Director: Mohamed Siam (Egypt), Producers: Myriam Sassine (Libanon), Mohamed Siam (Egypt), Co-Producers: Arnaud Dommerc (France), Sara Bökemeyer (Germany), Patricia Drati (Denmark), Ingrid Lill Høgtun (Norway)
- Short Fiction Film - Dry Hot Summers (Har .. Gaf .. Sayfan) | Director: Sherif Elbendary (Egypt), Producers: Claudia Jubeh (Germany), Hossam Elouan (Egypt)
- Documentary - Possessed by Djinn | Director: Dalia Al-Kury (Jordan), Producers: Lino Rettinger (Germany), Dalia Al-Kury (Jordan)
- Animation - Manivelle - Last Days of the Man of Tomorrow | Director: Fadi Baki (Lebanon), Producers: Niklas Hlawatsch (Germany), Bernadette Klausberger (Germany), Jinane Dagher (Lebanon), Sabine Sidawi (Lebanon)
- Short Fiction Film - Ave Maria | Director: Basil Khalil (Palestine), Producers: Eric Dupont, Eric Fantone (France), Helge Albers (Germany)
- Short Fiction Film - Free Range | Director: Bassem Breish (Lebanon), Producers: Jacques Colman (Germany), Katia Saleh (Lebanon)
- Documentary - Gaza Surf Club | Director: Philip Gnadt (Germany), Producers: Michael Dupke (Germany), Stephanie Yamine (Egypt)
Berlin Today Award
The Berlin Today Award was a short film competition open to current and former participants of the Berlinale Talent Campus. To enter the competition, filmmakers had to submit an idea for a short film project. Five of these projects got selected and were realised with the support of German production companies and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. These films were then premiered at the opening of the next Berlinale Talent Campus, with one of them additionally being awarded with the Berlin Today Award. The last edition of the Berlin Today Award took place in 2012.
Berlin Today Award
- 2012: Batman and the Checkpoint (Director: Rafael Balulu)
- 2011: Hackney Lullabies (Director: Kyoko Miyake)
- 2010: Jonah and the vicarious nature of homesickness with Jens Winter (Director: Bryn Chainey)
- 2009: Wagah (Director: Supriyo Sen)
- 2008: Match Factor with Anneke Kim Sarnau, Navíd Akhavan und Sebastian Schwarz (Director: Maheen Zia)
- 2007: Wasserschlacht — The Great Border Battle (Director: Katarzyna Klimkiewicz & Andrew Friedman)
- 2006: BerlinBall (Director: Anna Azevedo)
- 2005: Alright Love (Director: Samuli Valkama & Roman Sorger) and București—Berlin (Director: Anca M. Lăzărescu & Cristian Mungiu)
- 2004: Berlinbeirut (Director: Myrna Maakaron), Best of the Wurst (Director: Grace Lee) and Berlin Backstage (Director: Stéphanie Chuat & Véronique Reymond)
- 2012: Christoph Fleischmann
- 2011: Felix Rösch
- 2010: Camilo Sanabria
- 2009: Atanas Valkov
- 2008: Conrad Oleak
- 2007: Ilja Coric
- 2006: Alasdair Reid
- 2005: Ognjan Milosevic
- 2004: Tom Third
- E.D.D.I. (Director and Screenwriter: Victoria Hayford)
- The String Puppet (Director and Screenwriter: Alexander Frank)
- It Could Happen To You (Director and Screenwriter: Juliane Block)
- On Time (Screenwriter: David Bradley Halls, Director: Ted Chung)
- Resigned (Director and Screenwriter: Tamara Maloney)
- One of These Days (Director and Screenwriter: Sadaf Ahmadi)
- Click-Clack-Clack (Director and Screenwriter: Amira Lopez)
- The Discreet Charms of the Refugee (Director and Screenwriter: Colm Quinn)
Talent Movie of the Week
- 2006: High Maintenance (Director: Philipp Van)
- 2005: Cataract with Andreas Schmidt and Sesede Terziyan (Director: Sainath Choudhury)
- 2004: Funeral Etiquette (Director: Martin Romanella)
- 2003: Dangle (Director: Phil Traill)
- "I feel privileged and extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to listen to such a varied and distinguished gathering of masters from Mike Leigh to Ken Adam and Walter Murch to Derek Malcolm." – Pádraig Trehy, Ireland
- "By the time I left Doc Station I knew exactly what kind of film I wanted to make, down to imagining certain scenes. It was a tremendous incubator at such a vital early stage in conceptualizing the project." – Angelo Madsen Minax, whose Doc Station 2016 project "North By Current" premiered in Panorama at the 2021 Berlinale.
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