About 500 budding movie makers will flock to Berlin this week to participate in the film festival's Talent Campus, where they will work with accomplished colleagues and could receive funding to realize their own project.
The event will be held at Berlin's House of World Cultures.
When Dieter Kosslick took over as director of the Berlin film festival in 2001, he knew he wanted to use the pulling power and infrastructure of the event to promote young film makers. The Berlin Brandenburg Film Board and the UK Film Council offered their help.
That led to the creation of the Berlinale Talent Campus, which opened its doors for the first time last year. Some 500 young film makers from around the world took part in the five-day seminar, hoping to learn something from established names in the field, like German director Wim Wenders, actor Dennis Hopper and legendary set designer Ken Adam, famous for his work on the James Bond films. The course also gave the newcomers a chance to make those all-important film business contacts.
Following the internationally recognized success of last year's Talent Campus, the seminar will run again this year, under the motto "Let's get passionate about film." Berlin’s House of World Cultures will again be converted into a dynamic hive of cinematic creativity. More than three and a half thousand young people applied to take part this year. 520 candidates from 84 countries have been selected. The organizers are particularly pleased about applications from countries which don't have a recognized film industry, such as Ghana, Bangladesh, Syria or Afghanistan.
Deutsche Welle Brings Afghan film makers to Berlin
Three young film makers from Afghanistan are coming to the campus to present documentaries about their country and the fate of its people. The films were made with help from the AÏNA media centre in Kabul. AÏNA is an Afghan-French project which is setting up a network of independent journalists and media in Afghanistan. Deutsche Welle is a partner of the Berlinale Talent Campus, and is sponsoring the three Afghan film makers during their stay in Berlin.
Each applicant to the Berlinale Talent Campus was asked to supply examples of their work, for example a one minute short film, and proof of advanced practical experience. The seminars are aim ed at prospective film makers - which make up the largest group - but also at script writers, producers, camera operators, actors and this year, for the first time, sound designers and film editors.
Workshops include all aspects of film making
The workshops, lectures and screenings followed by discussion groups are ordered according to the five most important aspects of film making: philosophy, pre-production, production, postproduction and promotion. In the Working Campus section, small teams will work on presentations such as digital shorts. It's hoped participants will learn methods of professional and respectful mutual communication as well as being able to garner valuable professional experience.
Successful film industry veterans will again be on hand to pass on their experience and knowledge to the upcoming talent. They include director, screenplay writer and producer Anthony Minghella, director of the multi-Oscar winner The English Patient. Minghella's latest film Cold Mountain will open the Berlinale on Feb. 5.
Walter Murch, sound designer and film editor, who's credits also include The English Patient as well as Apocalypse Now, is in charge of the main thrust of this year's seminar "The Sound and Music."
Director Wim Wenders and set designer Ken Adam (photo) will take part in discussion forums.
Some events open to the public
Speaking of forums, the Berlinale Talent Campus is also offering events each afternoon that are open to interested members of the public who want to get an insider view of the exciting and creative world of film.
All the seminar participants will be eagerly looking forward to the grand finale of the Berlinale Talent Campus - the presentation of the first Berlin Today Award on Feb. 11. The Berlin Brandenburg Film Board invited all participants from the first campus to submit short film treatments with a Berlin theme.
A jury chose three projects from the numerous submissions and the winners - all female - were able to realize their ideas with the support of a Berlin film production company, the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Fund and up to €70,000 ($87,000) per film. The young filmmakers were also able to rely on the advice of renowned directors Volker Schlöndorff, Esther Gronenborn and Andreas Dresen.
Berlin Talent Campus media partner DW-TV will broadcast the winning film - an international exclusive - on Feb.12 at 18:30 UTC.