Berlinale Talents

Feb 01, 2023
Much Cause for Joy – Berlinale Talents Programme 2023 with Cate Blanchett, Todd Field, Sepideh Farsi, John Malkovich, Geraldine Chaplin, Euzhan Palcy, Ruben Östlund, Kirsten Johnson and Many Other Guests

You Must Be Joking! John Malkovich and Geraldine Chaplin on set of Robert Schwentke's Seneca – On the Creation of Earthquakes. Both actors will join Berlinale Talents 2023.

The 21st edition of Berlinale Talents brings people together from diverse cultural backgrounds to promote and jointly shape the diversity of cinema. Up-and-coming set designers from Ecuador meet directors from Ukraine, award-winning actors meet respected cinematographers – people who enrich and renew the world of film and positively strengthen it in times of crises. The annual theme “You Must Be Joking: Humour in Serious Times” also reminds us that humour in all its diversity can unite us even under sometimes difficult circumstances.

Humour in All Its Facets
The thematic focus is reflected in all core areas of the programme. For example, the master of biting social satire, Swedish director and screenwriter Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness) will be engaging directly with the audience in a stand-up-like talk format, revealing details about his next film and conveying his special way of working. As part of their on-stage dialogue, cinema legends Geraldine Chaplin and John Malkovich will be talking us through their most unforgettable roles. Absurd humour in its most subversive qualities is the focus of an impromptu speech duel between Kirsten Johnson (Dick Johnson is Dead) and Hungarian film director and script mentor Gyula Gazdag. And to show that laughter can relieve and resolve our fears – especially now – will be demonstrated by Berlinale Talents acting coaches Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad in a public workshop for over 200 participants.

Strong Presence of Oscar Winners
In the middle of the awards season, the TÁR ensemble comes to Berlinale Talents: the multiple Oscar-nominated director Todd Field, the Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett, the Silver Bear-winning actor Nina Hoss, the renowned cellist and actor Sophie Kauer, as well as the Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir unfold the genesis of their music drama, which is closely linked to Berlin in terms of content. During the talk, Todd Field’s short film The Fundraiser, set in the same universe as TÁR, will also have its world premiere.

“With my camera I don't shoot, I heal,” said Euzhan Palcy about her approach when she accepted an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement last November. For the first time in Berlin for the screening of her film Sugar Cane Alley, selected by Ava DuVernay for this year’s Retrospective, the pioneer of Caribbean cinema talks about her remarkable career, her craft and calls on us to support her in her fight for more diversity in front of and behind the camera.

Queer Visions and Sustainability in Action
Standing against all forms of heteronormativity and gender stereotypes, the TEDDY AWARD has been working to recognise the many facets of queer cinema since its inception in 1987. In the form of the TEDDY Talents Talks, a new cooperation with Berlinale Talents gets off to an exciting start: Five protagonists from film, industry (including Jennifer Reeder, who will be represented in the Panorama with her film Perpetrator) outline their personal queer visions of the future in crisp statements.

As part of the Berlinale Pro* consortium, Berlinale Talents actively promotes the social, economic and environmental sustainability initiatives of its alumni. The public can also enter into direct exchange with the Talents Footprints – Mastercard Enablement Programme fellows, who will be announced on February 19, 2023. This much can be revealed: never before have the motives for the selected projects been as urgent as they are this year.

Against Oppression, Against Violence

As a year-round community with soon to be 10,000 alumni, Berlinale Talents supports filmmakers from all countries of the world, especially in times of crisis. Six participants from Ukraine and four talents from Iran have been invited to this year’s Summit to develop their projects. Ukrainian documentaries from the festival programme will be presented in a public focus event. The World Cinema Fund will hold its WCF Day this year for the first time in cooperation with Berlinale Talents. A focus of the talks will be on current Iranian cinema. These activities support the Berlinale’s firm commitment to democratic values and against oppression.

Intimate scenes on set require safe and fair framework conditions. Berlinale Talents has been conveying this for many years in a workshop format on intimacy coordination developed by Talents alumnae Paula Alamillo and Sonja Klümper. In a public event together with filmmakers, experts Kate Lush and Paula Alamillo will be sharing detailed insights into their work and how their job description is becoming increasingly established.

Overview of All Events Open to the Public
The complete programme with all times and venues will be available from February 7 on as well as

Kiss The Future: Music, Journalism and Art During the Siege of Sarajevo - A conversation with filmmakers and subjects from the timely documentary Kiss The Future, which explores the underground art scene during the siege of Sarajevo, culminating in a cathartic post-war concert by the band U2. With Nenad Cicin-Sain, Bill Carter, Christiane Amanpour, Vesna Zaimovic, Senad Zaimovic, Alma Catal, Enes Zlatar.

Seriously Funny: A Good Laugh with Ruben – Ruben Östlund, master of the biting social satire with his film Triangle of Sadness, enters into direct dialogue with the Berlin audience in a stand-up-like talk format, offering not only candid insights into his next film project, but also about his working method, which is always audience-oriented.

In the Limelight: Being John & GeraldineBerlinale Talents pays tribute to these two great character actors in a stage dialogue on the year’s theme of humour and their impressive careers and unforgettable roles on screen.

Stand Up, Stand Tall: The Cinema of Euzhan Palcy – Euzhan Palcy, who won an honorary Oscar in 2022 for her groundbreaking contributions to international cinema, talks about her career and her fight for marginalised filmmakers in front of and behind the camera.

Grand Orchestra: Conducting TÁR – Director Todd Field, actors Cate Blanchett, Nina Hoss and Sophie Kauer, and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir unfold the genesis of their music-centric drama. The talk will also include the world premiere of Todd Field’s short film The Fundraiser.

Images of Iran: Animating La Sirène – Animation workshop with Sepideh Farsi, Javad Djavahery, Zaven Najjar and Richard Lutterbeck focussing on the creative process behind this year’s Panorama opening film.

Step by Step: Solutions for Sustainability – How does sustainability become more than a buzz word? The Talents Footprints – Mastercard Enablement Programme Jury (Honor Swinton Byrne, Hania Mroué, Marene Arnold) takes the first step towards more sustainability with the 2023 fellows and the audience: discussing and networking.

Simply Absurd: Subversive Screenwriting – Kirsten Johnson and Gyula Gazdag on the power of subversiveness and other absurdities in screenwriting.

TEDDY Talents Talks: Queer Visions – The cooperative format of TEDDY, Queer Academy and Berlinale Talents brings future visions of queer cinema to the big stage.

Let's Be Series: Entertaining Audiences – For the first time, Berlinale Series has a jury, and it is an impressive line-up of experts: we look forward their takes on intelligent entertainment from the perspectives of acting, screenplay and production.

A Closer Look: Current Docs from Ukraine – The Russian war of aggression is omnipresent. What are the perspectives of Ukrainian filmmakers? The discussion regarding the documentaries We Will Not Fade Away by Alisa Kovalenko (Generation) and Iron Butterflies by Roman Liubyi (Panorama) shows the depth of the conflict and the diversity of their cinematic approaches.

Every Body: Working with Intimacy Coordinators – Intimacy coordinators Paula Alamillo and Kate Lush provide insights into their work and discuss the state of their profession with filmmakers.

Short Symphonies: Directors’ Scores – This sounds like a good fit: short film directors who also compose their own film scores. Anthony Ing, Billy Roisz and Christian Avilés in conversation with Berlinale Shorts curator Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck.

Back to the Body: A Laughing Workshop – Together with the audience and actors, Berlinale Talents acting coaches explore what our bodies can do when faced with challenges and how we can even find humour in them.

Alumni Film Screening: Perpetrator – Almost 100 Talents alumni return to Berlin with films selected for this year’s festival. The special public screening and extensive Q&A at HAU1 honours the return of Jennifer Reeder, whose latest film Perpetrator celebrates its world premiere in Panorama.

Industry Events: Talents Labs, Studios and Talents Tanks

With numerous other events Berlinale Talents lives up to its mission as an exquisite talent developer and world-renowned networking platform. In the workshops and labs, which are closed to the public, the 203 selected Talents from 68 countries will work this year with, among others, the Oscar-nominated sound and music team of Im Westen nichts Neues (All Quiet on the Western Front) as well as many of the 95 alumni of all disciplines from 70 films selected for the Berlinale.

In the Doc Station, Short Form Station and Script Station, 30 Talents receive advice on their documentary, feature or short films as well as interactive XR and series formats. In the Talent Project Market, a cooperation with the Berlinale Co-Production Market, ten producers will be networked with production partners.

Talents Labs Presentations: February 22, 2023, 10.30 to 6.00 pm, Event Hall at the Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation, all projects at, registration for industry representatives: .

The Berlinale Talents Studios are dedicated to acting, cinematography, editing, production design, film music and sound design, world sales, distribution, audience design, and new: digital set design. At Talent Press, eight film journalists work on the future of film criticism.

The Talents Tanks, three-day think tanks, take place this year under the motto “A Film Community of the Many”. The 203 Talents and selected guests will be invited to draw strength from differently guided exercises – from journaling, improv theatre to a meditation journey – to bring newfound perspectives into the world and leave comfort zones. The think tank is supported by Warner Bros. Discovery and Telefilm Canada.

Berlinale Talents is a Berlinale Pro* initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a division of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, supported by the Minister of State for Culture and Media, Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Filmförderungsanstalt, Mastercard, ARRI and Federal Foreign Office.

Press Office
February 1, 2023