Yesterday, the 13th edition of Berlinale Talents came to a successful close. During the six-day programme, 300 emerging film professionals from 75 countries and a variety of fields met with some 100 renowned experts. In addition, the participants had a wide range of opportunities to continue developing their film projects.

The general success of Berlinale Talents was quite evident in the film programme of the 2015 Berlinale: 86 former participants of Berlinale Talents contributed to 63 of the films in the festival sections. “Once again, the new Talents of 2015 found inspiration in the creative atmosphere of Berlinale Talents, and made many contacts amongst fellow participants and the film industry. We will undoubtedly soon welcome some of these talented filmmakers back to Berlin with their films,” commented Florian Weghorn, who was in charge of the Berlinale Talents programme for the first time this year.

The Berlinale Talents took place under the motto “2015: A Space Discovery”. Top-notch experts expounded on the creation, exploration and transmission of cinematic space. They included Howard Shore, Marcel Ophüls, Joshua Oppenheimer, Wim Wenders, Joanna Hogg, Bong Joon-Ho, Andreas Dresen, Ursula Meier, Walter Salles, Sebastian Schipper, and many others.
Speaking on the opening panel, Jury President Darren Aronofsky provided insight into the development of space and spatial perception in his films The Fountain and Black Swan. Claudia Llosa, also a member of this year’s International Jury, described in detail the creation of poetic spaces in her movies. She pointed out how they referenced contradictory aspects of social and cultural spheres in Peruvian society.

Cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger, who most recently brought desert landscapes to the big screen in Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, took an in-depth look at how it was to do the camerawork in the Chauvet cave for Herzog’s documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. During his talk he stated that: “Depicting space on the screen only works if I, as the cameraman, accept the properties of the real-life surroundings.” His master class was one of the many different activities held in cooperation with Canon.

Production Designer Alex McDowell (Minority Report) spoke about designing complex filmic worlds that generate a multitude of narratives: “My relationship with cinematic space continues to evolve, both as a creator of worlds and as a lover of the art of storytelling. Powerful films embedded with the intuitive design of a unique world take audiences on a journey into space.”
For the first time, Berlinale Talents was also open to participants with experience in developing and producing high-quality drama series. Within the scope of the festival-wide Drama Series Days, Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, took delight in his conversations with the Talents: “The idea that nothing is off limits and artists can come here to see something new – that’s very exciting, especially because this is not the prevailing attitude in the commercial world.”

Awards and Honours

During the Talent Project Market, the EUR 10,000 VFF Talent Highlight Pitch Award went to the project Biencuidao, which had been presented in Berlin by producer Gema Juarez Allen from Argentina and director Abner Benaim from Panama. Cash prizes endowed with EUR 1,000 each were awarded for the nomination of their projects to Macedonian producer Emilija Chochkova and French producer Guillaume de la Boulaye.
The Berlinale Talents Doc Station Development Grant was awarded for the first time to one of the ten documentary film projects that had been selected for the Doc Station. The recipient was Marouan Omara from Egypt for his project Dream Away. “We are very pleased with the EUR 3,000 cash prize, donated by Canada Goose, that went to the director. It will provide Marouan Omara and his co-director Johanna Domke more opportunities to develop their film project and bring about its realisation in the coming year,” remarked Project Manager Christine Tröstrum.

At the Sound Studio of Berlinale Talents, sound designers and composers had the chance to mix short sequences in Dolby Atmos® and participate with their works in a competition offered by Dolby®. The Jury then picked the winner: sound designer Warren Santiago from Thailand.

During Berlinale Talents, the Robert Bosch Stiftung awarded a prize to promote international cooperation between German and Arab filmmakers. The Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung went to each of three film teams for a project in one of the following three categories:

Animation: Clean Up the Living Room We’ve Got Visitors Coming by Ghassan Halwani, Lebanon / producer: Inka Dewitz, Germany

Documentary: Amal by Mohamed Siam, Egypt / producer: Sara Bökemeyer, Germany

Short Film: The Parrot by Amjad Al Rasheed and Darin Salam, Jordan / producer: Roman Roitman, Germany.
The prizes are endowed with a maximum of EUR 70,000 each.

For videos of the panel discussions, photos, information and the latest reports, go to:

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, in cooperation with Creative Europe MEDIA, a programme of the European Union, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Canon.

The photo and press release is in the property of Berlinale Talents 2015.