Berlinale Talents takes place February 13 to 18, 2016. This year, among the experts: Michael Ballhaus, Denis Côté, Jonathan Glazer, Alex McDowell, Tomm Moore, Molly M. Stensgaard, Jim Rakete, Meryl Streep and Thomas Vinterberg

© Peter Himsel, Berlinale Talents 2015

© Peter Himsel, Berlinale Talents 2015

Under the theme “The Nature of Relations”, the 14th edition focuses on the inner and outer relations in the interconnected cinematic world and examines the tools for sharing knowledge and experience amongst film creatives. For its programme, around 150 renowned experts will meet at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer with the 300 Talents, festival guests and Berlin’s cinema-loving audiences.

On February 13, Prof. Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, will officially open Berlinale Talents: “Berlinale Talents uniquely combines sophisticated film discourse with effective talent development. The Talents are the vanguard of the global film industry: they set trends, transgress conventions and find innovative ways to tell stories of a universal resonance. Therefore as the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, I take a vested interest in supporting the Berlinale Talents programme, because the promotion of young artists is an inherent part of a nation built on culture.” This year’s summit offers the audience again an exciting programme with leading international filmmakers, and the 300 Talents, including around 30 from Germany, an opportunity for engagement and networking.

Filmmaking as a medium borrows from and combines the elements of various creative forms. The summit’s experts are masters in their respective fields as well as in sharing this expertise with others. President of the International Jury Meryl Streep joins the Talents for an in-depth discussion of her collaborations with directors and how she creates strong relations to the characters she portrays. Thomas Vinterberg, very familiar with the pros and cons of collective models for work and life, remarks on their complexities with references to his youth as a hippie kid, to Dogme 95 and his latest film Kollektivet (The Commune). Jonathan Glazer, British director of award-winning works for music, film and advertising, shows how he reaches the viewer’s subliminal feelings with sound and image. Also relating to the audiences of his films, director Denis Côté reflects why a question is sometimes the best answer to jump into the dialogue with others.

Relations are not only subjects of talks, but are also literally tangible during the events themselves. In cooperation with the Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, recipient of an Honorary Golden Bear and this year’s Berlinale Homage subject, Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus, will enter into a conversation with photographer Jim Rakete on his life and work. Tomm Moore, recently lauded with the European Film Award for his feature length animation Song of the Sea, flies in from Ireland with Ross Stewart, the co-director of his new film, to draw the bigger picture of the artistic collaboration in their film studio. Also to discuss storytelling as the “Gesamtkunstwerk” of all arts, Molly M. Stensgaard, long-term editor e.g. of Lars von Trier’s films and a conceptual developer and editor for drama series, sits down with Steve Matthews, executive producer of drama development at HBO Europe. Again within the framework of the “Drama Series Days”, Game of Thrones cinematographer Fabian Wagner talks about his impact on the visual storytelling and how the big team develops and maintains the style over the course of many episodes.

For the first time, more than 100 Talents alumni are participating with current films at this year’s Berlinale. Making use of their experience, Berlinale Talents dedicates an entire day to innovative producers as matchmakers and entrepreneurs. Noted experts such as Charles Gillibert and business strategist Linda Beath rub shoulders in sessions with Talents alumni producers Bianca Balbuena, Fabian Gasmia and Henning Kamm, who are all present with new films in this year’s Berlinale Competition. An interactive case-study will focus on the visual development and technical workflows of Roy Andersson’s latest movie A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence with lectures and workshops lead by the film’s colorist Dirk Meyer, post-production supervisor Niko Remus and one of the DOPs, Talents alumnus Gergely Pálos.

As an extensive live-event, Berlinale Talents is itself a hub where people can grow, test and redefine their professional synergies. Inspired by the yearly motto, several new events will break with the panel format to allow all parties involved a more active role. One of these “town hall meeting” style sessions examines the cinematic possibilities of representing the situation of refugees and migration in general. Production designer Alex McDowell also picks up that theme in a panel and two workshops using his “world building” processes to examine the complexities that shape the universe of a refugee camp. The socio-political relations remain a central focus over the course of the week. Berlinale Talents will host the award ceremony for the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung for International Cooperation Germany / Arab World and a special edition of Deutsche Welle’s award winning Arabian TV show “Shabab Talk” with filmmakers from the Middle East discussing the role of filmmaking in times of conflict.

“To welcome the 300 Talents coming from 78 countries here in Berlin to celebrate the many colors of cinema and the multifaceted natures of our relations, is a test and testament of the topicality of this year’s focus”, comments Berlinale Talents programme manager Florian Weghorn.
Berlinale Talents wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to all partners for their support, in particular Prof. Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media; Creative Europe MEDIA, a programme of the European Union; Robert Bosch Stiftung; Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg; Federal Foreign Office; German Federal Film Board; Nespresso; Creative Skillset; Deutsche Welle; Goethe-Institut; Manfred Durniok Foundation; Embassy of the United States of America and British Council.

Official press release of the 66th Berlinale Film Festival