Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund, Berlinale Talents Alumni, and a Berlinale Shorts Winner
Four films supported by the Berlinale’s World Cinema Fund (WCF) have been invited to participate in the program of the Cannes Film Festival.
Director Mahdi Fleifel, who won the Silver Bear Jury Prize (Short Film) in 2016 for A Man Returned from the Berlinale Shorts section, is also presenting his new work: A Drowning Man.
In addition, a total of 40 Berlinale Talents alumni from various film professions (directing, production, acting, camera, editing, costume design, screenwriting) are represented in 25 films selected for Cannes.
More information about Berlinale Talents can be found here.
The following films funded by the WCF are screening in Cannes:
I Am Not a Witch by Rungano Nyoni (Berlinale Talents alumnus) – Zambia / France / United Kingdom / Germany
La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
Los perros by Marcela Said – Chile / France / Argentina
Semaine de la Critique
La belle et la meute by Kaouther Ben Hania – Tunisia / France / Germany
Un Certain Regard
Aala kaf ifrit (Beauty and the Dogs) by Karim Moussaoui – Algeria / France / Germany
Un Certain Regard
More information about the World Cinema Fund can be found here.
The 15th edition of Berlinale Talents was rounded off yesterday by Berlinale International Jury member and artist Olafur Eliasson as well as director Raoul Peck, who is at the festival this year with the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro (Panorama) and Le jeune Karl Marx (Berlinale Special). During the last six days, over 100 experts, 250 Talents and well over 6,000 visitors turned HAU Hebbel am Ufer into an international hub of discussion and networking for film lovers.
“Once again, this year’s Berlinale Talents proves to be the festival’s innovation lab. Where else can young filmmakers and experienced experts from every culture, country and profession have such open, inspiring exchange and collaborate on bringing new films to life? I wish these Talents success as they turn their ideas into reality. And above all: Have courage!” said the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Prof. Monika Grütters, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Berlinale Talents.
Courageous Mutual Exchange
In a time of political and social upheaval, this year’s theme has been a call to take a clear stance on cinematic narratives and aesthetics as well as a reminder against discouragement to rally our optimism and work together to bring about change. Throughout over 100 events and workshops, Talents discussed and worked with renowned experts and mentors, including Paul Verhoeven and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Christo, Agnieszka Holland, Ana Lily Amirpour, Isabel Coixet, Andres Veiel, Gurinder Chadha, Laura Poitras, Timothy Spall and many more.
Sunday’s opening panel, with this year’s Berlinale International Jury President Paul Verhoeven and Berlinale International Jury member Maggie Gyllenhaal set the tone for this year’s edition. “Be courageous and step into the unknown,” was Paul Verhoeven’s encouragement for the Talents. Christo, in his 90-minute discussion with the audience, called for creative work to be based in real contexts: “The most important thing of all our work is that it is about real things: real wind, real wet, real dry, real fear.” The days to come were a journey towards discovering personal, creative and filmic moments of courage. Talents alumna Ana Lily Amirpour, who returned this year as an expert, summed up what makes Berlinale Talents so special: “I loved it here when I came in 2010, and I still feel the same. It’s invigorating to be around so many people from everywhere in the world who are just madly in love with their ideas.”
Prizes during Berlinale Talents
Once again, prizes were awarded to filmmakers during Berlinale Talents.
As part of the “Talent Project Market,” the VFF Talent Highlight Award, endowed with € 10,000, went to the project The Bus to Amerika by producer Nefes Polat and director Derya Durmaz (Turkey). Cash prizes of €1,000 each were awarded to the Cuban producer Maria Carla del Rio and the Singaporean producer Jeremy Chua for their nominated projects.
For the fifth time, the Robert Bosch Stiftung awarded during Berlinale Talents film prizes to promote international cooperation between German and Arab filmmakers, endowed with up to € 60,000 each.
Animation: Night by director Ahmad Saleh (Jordan) and producers Jessica Neubauer (Germany) and Saleh Saleh (Jordan)
Short Film: The Trap by director Nada Riyadh (Egypt) and producers Eva Schellenbeck (Germany) and Ayman El Amir (Egypt)
Documentary: Behind Closed Doors (Mor L’Bab) by director Yakout Elhababi (Morocco) and producers Karoline Henkel (Germany) and Hind Sah (Morocco / France)
Co-Partner Nespresso kicked off the vertical video contest “Nespresso Talents 2017” during Berlinale Talents. The competition is open for entries until April 17, 2017, at nespresso.com/talents. Winners will be officially announced during the Cannes Film Festival and receive a cash prize and participation in a mentoring programme.
And tonight, Berlinale Talents and Perspektive Deutsches Kino will jointly award the inaugural Kompagnon-Fellowship during the closing evening of Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
For press information and interview requests please contact:
Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, with the support of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board.
COURAGEOUS ENCOUNTERS WITH AGNIESZKA HOLLAND, ANA LILY AMIRPOUR, ANDRES VEIEL, CHRISTO, DAVID OREILLY, GOB SQUAD, ISABEL COIXET, JOÃO MOREIRA SALLES, PAUL VERHOEVEN, RAOUL PECK AND OTHER EXPERTS
On its 15th anniversary, Berlinale Talents once again offers the public and its 250 Talents a diverse program of events, and proves that it’s still young enough to keep reinventing itself.
“This year’s theme, ‘Courage: Against All Odds,’ couldn’t feel timelier. While segregation is on the rise elsewhere, we stand in solidarity with those who believe in respect and the diversity of culture. Every year, our audiences, guests and Talents prove with their courage and love of cinema that together we’re stronger and more creative,” comments program manager Florian Weghorn.
The everyday bravery of today’s film professionals takes centre stage at the 25 public events at HAU Hebbel am Ufer from February 11 to 16, 2017. In addition, Berlinale Talents presents five public screenings of outstanding alumni films from this year’s Berlinale festival program. All in all, Berlinale Talents can once again boast impressive results in its talent development: 93 films, made with the contributions of 131 alumni, are screening at the Berlinale this year.
Completing the Circle – Alumni Return as Experts and Friends
The constantly growing network of successful alumni also contributes towards the Berlinale Talents program itself. Alumna Ana Lily Amirpour, who came to international prominence with her debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, shares her creative process with the audience in a brainstorming session drawing on influences ranging from Bruce Lee to Back to the Future. The Mexican cinematographer Diego Garciá, who participated at Berlinale Talents in 2014, returns as an expert at the “Camera Studio” after recently shooting with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Carlos Reygadas and Paul Dano, as well as lensing the visually stunning indie film Boi Neon.
Courage Is a Good Idea – Movers and Shakers of the Summit
Exploring the risks and strategies of the profession, the guests of Berlinale Talents take the audience on a journey through personal, creative and cinematic moments of courage. On the opening panel, the president of the International Jury, Paul Verhoeven, returns to Berlinale Talents to discuss his most recent film, Elle. In “No Longer There: The Art of Disappearance,” artist Christo highlights the role courage plays in creating temporary artworks which are then deliberately allowed to vanish again.
Berlinale Talents amplifies the trends and voices of the film program in the festival. Taking a break from his two film premieres, Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck visits Berlinale Talents for a talk with the expressive title “Shock of the Real: History as Provocation.” And tracing the impact of past revolutions and revolutionaries on today, the documentary filmmakers Andres Veiel and João Moreira Salles delve into archival material from their two festival films.
In “post-truth” times, cinematic storytellers are faced with the challenge of having to redefine their roles as purveyors of truths – both as critics and as activists – while at the same time maintaining their own attitudes and humor. The summit addresses this by hosting advocates of free-spirited cinema from Europe and beyond, including Polish director Agnieszka Holland. Isabel Coixet presents her new short film, It’s Not That Cold Siberia, a journey to the origins of inspiration, followed by an in-depth conversation on stage. And Sally Potter provides insights into how she transforms the film set into a safe haven in which her actors can allow intimacy and personal truthfulness to unfold freely.
Core Mission: Cultural Exchange
Hosting participants from over 70 countries makes cultural exchange an important element of Berlinale Talents. The panel “Doc Different: Co-Producing Culture” assembles bloggers, curators and filmmakers to discuss how new technologies enable us to rethink joint documentary production as a continuous process of democratic exchange. Against the backdrop of political developments in Turkey, the panel “Between the Lines: Film, Critique” gathers Turkish filmmakers and journalists who explain how independent platforms and films can offer and preserve a space for critical voices. And to promote courageous filmmakers in the Arab world, Berlinale Talents once again hosts the award ceremony of the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation Germany / Arab World.
Together We’re Strong – Brave Collectives
More than ever, the public programme of Berlinale Talents allows audiences to experience new collective forms of collaboration. Production designer Alex McDowell (Minority Report, Fight Club) and a team of interdisciplinary experts engage the audience in an onstage world-building session to visualize the future of cities caught between surveillance and spectacle. Members of the much loved Berlin-based performance art collective Gob Squad take the audience on an even more immersive journey. Their emphasis has always been on free interaction and open narrations with multiple outcomes; at Berlinale Talents they playfully transfer their approach to the current hype surrounding Virtual Reality. And animation “wunderkind” David OReilly philosophizes with Maike Mia Hoehne also about the new roles of the viewer, as exemplified in his new computer game Everything which has its world premiere at Berlinale Shorts.
As part of the “Drama Series Days” and supported by ARRI and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the case study “On Location: Berlin Station” provides a multidisciplinary tour of the production processes and digital workflow behind the hit espionage series Berlin Station, which was just recently shot in the German capital. On the subject of film production, three panels during the “Producers Day” put courageous producers and funders in the spotlight. They take on topics such as gender equality in the field of production, successful relations between co-producers and how to systematically support filmmakers who are willing to take financial and narrative risks.
The complete program of Berlinale Talents will follow shortly.
For many years now, the Berlin International Film Festival has been committed to documentary film and diverse documentary forms. This was evident not only in the programmes of the different sections, initiatives and special series but also in the European Film Market (EFM).
Thanks to the support of Glashütte Original, watch manufacturer from Saxony, the Berlin International Film Festival is launching a new award, the Glashütte Original Documentary Award.
The Glashütte Original Documentary Award is endowed with € 50,000, funded by Glashütte Original. The prize money will be split between the film’s director and producer. A total of 16 documentary entries from the current programmes of the Competition, Berlinale Special, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino sections are nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award.
The prize will be presented during the official Award Ceremony in the Berlinale Palast on February 18. In addition to the prize money, Glashütte Original will also provide the trophy, which will be finely crafted in the company’s manufactory in Saxony.
A three-member jury will pick the winner:
Daniela Michel (Mexico)
Born in Mexico City, Daniela Michel is a film critic and founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival, an annual event launched in 2003 to support a new generation of Mexican filmmakers. After studying filmmaking she received a degree in English Literature. She has curated retrospectives of Mexican cinema in and outside Mexico. Michel has also served on the Jury for the “Un Certain Regard” and “La Semaine de la Critique” sections of the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Sarajevo Film Festival, among other festivals, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Media Arts Fellowships and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
Laura Poitras (USA)
Laura Poitras, who was born in the USA, first studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and then The New School in New York. Her work crosses the boundaries of documentary film, journalism, and art. In 2006 she began her 9/11 Trilogy with the film My Country, My Country, for which she received her first Oscar nomination. This was followed by The Oath (2010), which like My Country, My Country, was shown in the Berlinale’s Forum section. With CITIZENFOUR, the third part of her trilogy, Poitras won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015. With this film about Edward Snowden, she also took home awards from the German Film Prize, the Director’s Guild of America, and BAFTA. Her reporting on NSA surveillance has appeared in Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, and received a Pulitzer Prize and the Nannen Prize for Press Freedom. In 2016, she mounted her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is co-creator of the visual journalism project, Field of Vision.
Samir (Iraq / Switzerland)
Samir was born in Bagdad and moved with his family to Switzerland when he was seven years old. In the 1980s, after studying at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and training to be a typesetter, he began working as a cameraman, director, and screenwriter. Over the years he has made more than 40 short and full-length films. In 1994, he – and documentary filmmaker Werner Schweizer and producer Karin Koch – took over Dschoint Ventschr (spoken like Joint Venture) Filmproduktion, which concentrates on promoting young Swiss talents. Samir has directed both fiction and documentary films for the cinema and television – including Snow White (2005), which received multiple awards – as well as many stage productions. His documentary Iraqi Odyssey was screened in the Berlinale Panorama in 2015 and submitted by Switzerland for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The following films are nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award:
Beuys – Germany
By Andres Veiel
Berlinale Special (1)
La libertad del diablo (Devil’s Freedom) – Mexico
By Everardo González
Belinda – France
By Marie Dumora
El Pacto de Adriana – Chile
By Lissette Orozco
Erase and Forget – United Kingdom
By Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Fünf Sterne (Five Stars) – Germany
By Annekatrin Hendel
Istiyad Ashbah (Ghost Hunting) – France / Palestine/ Switzerland / Qatar
By Raed Andoni
For Ahkheem – USA
By Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest
Maman Colonelle (Mama Colonel) – Democratic Republic of Congo / France
By Dieudo Hamadi
El mar la mar – USA
By Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki
Mzis qalaqi (City of the Sun) – Georgia / USA / The Netherlands / Qatar
By Rati Oneli
Tigmi n Igren (House in the Fields) – Morocco / Qatar
By Tala Hadid
Almost Heaven – United Kingdom
By Carol Salter
Shkola nomer 3 (School Number 3) – Ukraine / Germany
By Yelizaveta Smith, Georg Genoux
Soldado (Soldier) – Argentina
By Manuel Abramovich
Perspektive Deutsches Kino (1)
Eisenkopf (Ironhead) – Germany
By Tian Dong
All nominated films will celebrate their world premiere at the Berlinale 2017.
Program / Series Events for Berlinale Market Attendees at Legendary Zoo Palast
The “Drama Series Days”, a joint initiative for series content co-organized by the industry platforms European Film Market, Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents, are set to celebrate their third annual edition this year. Building on the great success of the previous years, a third day has been added to the program for 2017, which runs from February 13 to the 15.
The new venue for the panel discussions and market screenings, which are offered by the European Film Market, is Berlin’s legendary Zoo Palast cinema, which will be transformed this year into the premiere meeting place for series content for members of the industry. “CoPro Series”, the pitching session organized by the Berlinale Co-Production Market, will also take place there.
The “Drama Series Days” are a vibrant, specialized platform, which invites filmmakers, buyers, salespeople, producers, editors and financiers of high quality drama series to come together to share their knowledge and ideas and present new series content.
“CoPro Series” creates an active space for networking and exchange between the film and series industries. At this event, the registered participants – producers and financiers from the pool of the Berlinale Co-Production Market – and the “Drama Series Days” industry guests have the opportunity to get to know the series’ creators and producers at the Networking Get-Together after the pitching session, where they can learn more about the pitched content. In previously arranged one-on-one meetings, participants can also engage in concrete talks with the aim of developing potential partnerships.
A portion of the “Drama Series Days” program for 2017 is already confirmed:
“CoPro Series” 2017: Seven International Series Projects Pitching Their Content and Searching for Partners
On February 15 the Berlinale Co-Production Market is inviting producers, television representatives, distributors and further series financiers for the third time to the exclusive series pitching session “CoPro Series”, which will be taking place for the first time this year at the new venue for the “Drama Series Days”, the fabled Zoo Palast cinema.
Seven select series projects will be on the lookout for co-production and financing partners here among the industry guests. The productions include for instance Cognition, a crime thriller concept from director Alex Garcia Lopez (Misfits, Utopia), which is being produced by companies from the United Kingdom and the USA. The team behind the French series Trepalium, which gained positive attention last year from critics and series audiences alike in France and Germany, will be presenting their new project Metro, a historical thriller set in the days of the first efforts to construct the subway system in Paris.
In the Austrian-German crime project Freud, the psychoanalytical skills of the titular hero are needed in the race to catch a serial killer. German author and director Till Kleinert’s Hausen on the other hand, a project produced in Bulgaria, combines elements of the mystery, horror and drama genres in a story set in a run-down high-rise estate.
The Belgian crime series Omerta, whose characters must constantly walk a fine line between trust and betrayal, is also searching for partners at the event – and the same goes for the drama series State of Happiness, in which a small Norwegian city gets caught up unexpectedly in the oil boom.
A further project will be presented in co-operation with the renowned Paris-based series festival and co-production forum “Series Mania”: the series Warrior, featured at the Paris festival’s 2016 edition and directed by Christoffer Boe, who has previously made a name for himself primarily as a feature film director (Reconstruction; Offscreen; Sex, Drugs & Taxation), has also been invited to Berlin. As in previous years, one of the six other series presented at “CoPro Series” will once again have the opportunity to meet additional potential partners at “Series Mania” in April.
The main partners for the Berlinale Co-Production Market (February 12 to 15, 2017) are the MDM – Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and Creative Europe – MEDIA, a program of the European Union.
The Networking Get-Together at “CoPro Series” at the Zoo Palast cinema is being held in co-operation with the Norwegian Film Institute.
Projects selected to participate at “CoPro Series” 2017 (in alphabetical order by production company):
Freud (Bavaria Fernsehproduktion & Satel Film), Germany & Austria
Cognition (Catalyst Global Media & A Better Tomorrow Films), United Kingdom & USA
Omerta (Caviar), Belgium
Metro (Kelija), France
State of Happiness (Maipo Film), Norway
Hausen (Tanuki Films), Bulgaria
Project in co-operation with “Series Mania”:
Warrior (Miso Film), Denmark
EFM: 20 Series from Around the World in Market Screenings, Successful Industry Get-Together for the International Series Scene To Be Expanded with New Conference Program
20 new series from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Denmark, France, Island, Israel, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden and the USA will be presented to series buyers from February 13 to 15 in the market cinemas at Berlin’s Zoo Palast. They feature a broad spectrum of subjects and demonstrate a high level of quality, as attendees of the event have come to expect. With established market players such as Global Screen, Red Arrow, Studio Canal, eOne, DR, Keshet, Lagardère, Sony TV, ITV, Dutch Features and TV Globo and producers like Vimeo and Left Bank Pictures on board, the specialist audience will be treated to a wide range of content.
For the first time, a multifaceted conference program will take place on February 13 and 14 at Zoo Palast, where the newest trends and developments – from forecasted shifts in genre popularity to new European funding options – will be presented and discussed by experts in the field.
The program is only accessible for accredited industry attendees in possession of a Market Badge and will consist of the following events:
Monday, February 13
1.00 pm Opening of “Drama Series Days”
1.30 pm “How to Make Your Series Go Global? Co-Production, Financing and Distribution Strategies for Binge-worthy TV” in co-operation with Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and The Hollywood Reporter
2.30 pm “New Frontiers: Creating Original Content in Mexico and Latin America” in co-operation with IMCINE
3.30 pm “European Series Funding At a Glance”
Tuesday, February 14
1.00 pm “Berlin on Screen: Zeitgeist in Serial Drama” supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
2:00 pm “Spotlight UFA: High-End Drama for the International Market” in co-operation with UFA Fiction
3:00 pm “Pay TV Expanding: What to Expect?” in co-operation with HBO Europe and C21
Official partner for “Drama Series Days” 2017 at the European Film Market is the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW; the platform is organised in co-operation with HBO Europe and made possible with the support of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
“Drama Series Days” @ Berlinale Talents
In addition, on Monday, February 13 (from 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm at HAU Hebbel am Ufer 3), Berlinale Talents will present and discuss the production conditions for the spy series Berlin Station in a detailed case study with numerous members of the German crew in attendance. The series from the USA was shot entirely on location in Berlin last year.
The full program for the “Drama Series Days”, including all scheduled screenings, will be made public on January 31.
In addition to the “Drama Series Days”, series content will also be featured once again in the festival program of the Berlinale: in the framework of the Berlinale Special Series, a hand-picked selection of high-quality series will be shown again this year at Haus der Berliner Festspiele.
Logan, the third and final standalone Wolverine film to star Hugh Jackman as the adamantine-clawed mutant, is to receive its world premiere at the Berlin film festival in February.
Logan, which follows X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013) in featuring the character as its main protagonist, revolves around an ageing Wolverine whose powers are failing. Directed by James Mangold, and co-starring Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen, Logan will screen an as out-of-competition film, ahead of its cinematic release in early March.
Also receiving its world premiere at the festival will be Viceroy’s House, the Gurinder Chadha-directed historical drama about the end of the Raj and the partition of India, featuring Hugh Bonneville as Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, and Gillian Anderson as Lady Edwina Mountbatten.
Like Logan, Viceroy’s House will screen in an out-of-competition slot; as will T2 Trainspotting, the long-awaited sequel to the 1996 Irvine Welsh adaptation. Although T2 Trainspotting will have been released in the UK before the festival begins, its screening at the festival is billed as an “international premiere”.
19 of the selected Talents are living and working in the United States, of whom 11 have US citizenship. The group is comprised of 6 directors, 4 producers, 3 production designers, 3 cinematographers, 1 distributor, and 2 actors.
The Talents will take part in an expansive six-day programme featuring around 100 events with internationally renowned experts holding master classes and workshops, many of which are open to the public.
Berlinale Talents takes place at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer, February 11 – 16, 2017.