In an age of connectivity, this year’s motto is “The Nature of Relations”. In what ways can relationships be natural?
Christine Tröstrum: To us, it’s about the levels of impact of human relations. Everything is interconnected but many people often no longer consciously recognise this in all its detail and correlations. As the saying goes, they can’t see the wood for the trees.
Florian Weghorn: And of course, forming and maintaining relationships is in the DNA of Berlinale Talents. We are envisioning these processes and ensuring they are more strongly present and recognisable in the formats of our events. Terms like “interdisciplinary work” and “joined-up thinking” are on everyone’s lips at the moment, even in the good old-fashioned film industry. We’re testing them on a very practical level: at our events, the guests don’t just talk about the special connection they have with a director; instead, directors and producers sit together on the stage.
Collective work has always been one of the features of film production. At the same time, since the 1960s there’s been an extremely virulent concept of the “auteur”. Has collaboration become particularly noticeable again today?
FW: We don’t aspire defining what is currently in or out of fashion. However, we rarely encounter the ideal of the hermetic film auteur in his quiet little room. Amongst the Talents, there are filmmakers who are currently forming collectives where they band together – also out of financial necessity because of the lack of infrastructure or following the collapse of other protections for the arts in society. Filmmaking, whether on a large or small scale, always requires this personal, well connected microcosm in which to produce and also to find an audience.
The Point of View Makes the Shot
How adaptable must a talent be today in order to make it in the film industry? Is there a danger, amidst all this networking, of losing one’s personal vision?
FW: Quite the opposite, a personal vision is a prerequisite for survival today. And it also plays a strong role in our selection of applicants. Alongside artistic achievement and an innovative approach, the selection panel asks how much evidence there is of a point of view. There must be a resonance emerging within a country, within the film project’s intended target audience. A certain echo must be tangible, a relevance and a reference to current subject matters.