Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2009

Berlinale Talent Campus

Jun 23, 2008:
Cameras are Rolling for the Berlin Today Award 2009: My Super Sea Wall – A short film about global warming in Alaska marks the start of the next competition round

On June 23, 2008, the shoot for My Super Sea Wall began in north Alaska. The film is one of five projects that made it to the final selection for the Berlin Today Award 2009 – the short film competition of the Berlinale Talent Campus. Gina Abatemarco from the USA will realize the short film with Anna Wendt Film Production from Berlin. My Super Sea Wall is a portrait of the Inuit village Kivalina, which lies in the Arctic Circle, and their existential struggle to deal with the consequences of global warming (see “Der Spiegel”, 24/2008). The ocean threatens to wash away the village, leaving the 400-some villagers with one option: to resettle elsewhere. For the time being, the only thing saving them from catastrophe is a gigantic wall of sandbags created to prevent further erosion. “A year ago I had never heard of Kivalina and it was by accident, through a newspaper article, that their story entered my heart and mind. I never would have dreamt that I would one day tell Kivalina's story in collaboration with the Berlin Today Award, but now I can't imagine it any other way. This is an incredible opportunity and I am very excited to make this film,” says the director about her short film project.

After the competition kicks off in Alaska, the next film, Promenade, is planned to begin shooting in mid-July 2008 in Beirut. The partially animated project from Lebanese filmaker Sabine El Chamaa will be produced by NEOS Film from Geiselgasteig near by Munich. In September and October, cameras will be rolling for each of the other three remaining nominated projects: Wagah (Director: Supriyo Sen, India / Production: DETAiLFILM, Hamburg) will be shot in India, whereas the projects Teleportation (Director: Markus Dietrich, Germany / Production: Schiwago Film, Berlin) and The Berlin Wall (Director: Paul Cotter, UK / Production: Kaminski.Stiehm.Film, Berlin) will be shot in Brandenburg and Berlin.

The five short film projects located crew members with the help of a newly developed B-to-B contact forum on the Campus website – a professional networking tool where Campus Talents can establish an online profile, present their film projects in various stages of production, and post or answer job offers ( Within the framework of the Berlin Today Award, Campus participants were encouraged to fill all the vacant creative positions, including for example cinematography, sound design, and editing. And with success: Ilja Coric from Berlin, winner of the Volkswagen Score Competition 2007, will contribute as a sound designer to My Super Sea Wall. Lesley Barnes from Scottland (Campus 2007) will be responsible for animation sketches for Promenade with Grzegorz Korczak from Poland (Campus 2006) behind the camera. Editor Szilvia Ruszev from Berlin and Najaf Bilgrami from Pakistan (both Campus 2008) will collaborate on the project Wagah. Carrie Giunta from London (Campus 2004) will take over the sound design for Teleportation.

The Berlin Today Award 2009 is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Federal Foreign Office. The patron for this year’s competition, for which the theme “My Wall“ was developed in honour of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, is Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. This year’s competition mentor is Wim Wenders. The five short films will celebrate their world premiere during the opening of the Berlinale Talent Campus 2009 (7. – 12. February 2009). The winning film will receive the Berlin Today Award.

Press Office

June 23, 2008

The Berlinale Talent Campus is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, in co-operation with MEDIA - Training programme of the European Union, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Federal Foreign Office, Skillset and UK Film Council as well as Volkswagen.