MWK: There is a further point: today the huge number of online communities demands the continuous connectedness of individuals and this isn’t always advantageous. The flood of information, the permanent comparison with others and their activities can quickly become overwhelming. Against this backdrop, it’s one of our major concerns that our participants learn how to focus on their own rhythm and on their own projects. That’s not always such an easy task in day-to-day life …
CT: Communication in many online communities is limited to the mundane, resulting in the disappearance of the political and the fact that it is more and more difficult for people to form passionate positions.
Here you mean the global developments of social communities rather than the Campus Network, right?
CT: Yes, I mean the global networks, which say a lot about social tendencies through the behaviour of their users. The “ego” is often in the foreground in online communication, rather than consideration of social issues.
MWK: This disappearing reflection on social processes has also become visible over the past 30 years when it comes to the political formation of personalities. You see this in many films that have been selected for the upcoming Berlinale: that the political mainly takes place in private. If one compares projects from South America, South Africa or Southeast Asia to those from Europe, it’s clearly noticeable that the focus is on other issues. We hope these regional differences will spark fruitful discussion.
Worldwide connectedness as curse and blessing
While we’re talking about global connectedness: are international ties increasingly necessary for a successful film production?
CT: Of course, that's what the Campus stands for. But we don’t want to encourage the expectation that every Campus participant has to co-produce or has to cooperate with three or four other countries.
MWK: Many of our guest experts will relate from experience how they managed to tell local, regional or typically national stories so successfully that they worked worldwide. And we want to throw out the basic question of how one can concentrate on this and how one can write a good story with such universal appeal.
On the one hand you say that the Talents are encouraged to take risks and forge new paths, but on the other hand it sounds as if it was primarily about finding and occupying a position within existing structures. How can the creation of one’s own working conditions or following unconventional routes be part of finding your position? Your purpose surely isn’t to suppress artistic creativity for the sake of strategic conformity to categories.
MWK: No, by no means. Through determination of one’s position, creativity can be directed towards the most promising personal path. Part of this process at the Campus is through asking concrete questions about the use of certain structures, forms and processes. The Talents should follow developments in the industry, yet they are allowed to come to the conclusion that they might not need it for their own film, i.e. that they want to give a different path a try. At the end of the day, it’s about one’s position. Where do things stand today and how should it continue?