MWK: We certainly bring people deliberately together. For example, we organize the so-called Sessions, which are planned in advance. Here, the individual talents can get to know one another. If we just left it to chance, far less positive and promising encounters and contacts would take place. Ideally, the Campus is a mixture of both, of targeted interaction, but also of unforced meetings.
Targeted interactions, unforced meetings
CT: For the planned small-scale gatherings, we have for example introduced the ideas of “counsellors”. These are established producers or filmmakers with a special focus on a certain region or a certain field such as visual arts. We connect the talents who are especially interested and engaged in this field within small groups with the “counsellors” to promote in-depth exchange and sometimes take excursions to Forum Expanded or the European Film Market together.
Of course planned connections go beyond participants’ own creative and working fields. For example, we will present interesting software solutions for international co-productions developed by the film school in Babelsberg to participating producers. Beyond that, talents must write as part of their applications detailed “motivation letters”, in which we are able to get an idea of their special interests in advance. Based on this information, we try to make the best use of the possibilities available for the 350 talents.
As best as you can judge, how were previous experiences when it came to establishing short, medium and long-term working relationships.
MWK: Every year, 25-30 films in which Campus alumni – sometimes just one, sometimes two or three - participated are submitted to the Berlinale. Many of the submissions began in Berlin, meaning the people met one another here at the Campus or at the festival. Often the partners get together later via our website community. A good example of this are the “Berlin Today Award” films, which are produced during the Campus with support from the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and are then premiered here. These productions often look for and find actors, cutters, film composers and so on through our community. The Campus network is actively used to find the perfect team member. And that’s exactly the way it is supposed to be.
CT: For many films, we act as a kind of midwife. We select certain projects and present them to mentors. The filmmakers receive professional feedback on their projects and we support them after the Campus in issues such as content development, financing or searching for additional partners. A considerable number of projects that were presented in the Doc&Script Station and at the Talent Project Market are now finished, such as One Man Village by Simon El-Habre from Lebanon (Doc Station 2006). The film ran in the Forum of the Berlinale 2009 and in April 2009 it won the prize for the Best Feature-length Documentary in the “International Competition” section at the HOT DOCS Canadian International Film Festival in Toronto.