Berlinale: Berlinale Residency

Berlinale Residency

The Berlinale Residency programme supported writer/directors from around the world, who had already enjoyed their first festival and cinema successes, in developing their new fiction, documentary film or cross-media projects. Only feature-length projects to which a producer was officially attached were eligible for selection.

The Berlinale Residency offered the filmmakers a great working atmosphere, monthly sessions with renowned script mentors and social events with fellow filmmakers. Their producers received input from widely experienced industry professionals and support in preparing and packaging the selected projects for the international market in a workshop towards the end of the Residency programme. The filmmakers and their producers returned to Berlin in February for the Berlinale Co-Production Market where they presented their project to potential co-producers and financiers.

The Berlinale Residency gave three filmmakers the opportunity to maximize the potential of their projects and to find their audiences, without limiting the creative qualities of the stories they want to tell. The writer/directors received three monthly grants of 1.500 Euro each, enabling them to live and work in Berlin for the duration of the programme.

The Berlinale Residency was an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Federal Foreign Office.

A jury – made up of Jens Beiküfner (German Federal Foreign Office), Teresa Hoefert de Turegano (Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg), Karsten Stöter (Rohfilm, Berlin) and Thomas Hailer (Berlinale curator) – has selected three filmmakers and their feature film projects.

Daniel Borgman, Neuseeland / Dänemark: Loving Pia

Producer: Katja Adomeit (Adomeit Film, Denmark)

Daniel Borgman was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1981. He received his degree in film studies at the University of Otago. Afterwards he moved to Europe, where he first worked as a post-production assistant and later as a film colourist and visual effects artist. In 2009 he began studying at the Super 16 film school in Denmark. His graduation project was an experimental live film/theatre happening titled How to Say Goodbye. His first short film, The Man & the Albatross, premiered in Locarno in 2008. A year later, his short Lars and Peter screened in the short film competition in Cannes. In 2010, his next short, Berik, won the Grand Prix in Cannes’ Semaine de la Critique short film section. His debut feature, The Weight of Elephants, premiered in the Berlinale Forum section in 2013. Loving Pia, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Berlinale Forum 2017.

Fernando Eimbcke, Mexiko: Diary of an Elephant

Producer: Christian Valdelièvre (Cinepantera, Mexico)

Fernando Eimbcke was born in Mexico City in 1970. He studied at the film school of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 2003 he was invited to the Berlinale Talents Campus (called Berlinale Talents since 2014). In 2004 he celebrated his feature debut with Temporada de Patos (Duck Season). Following its world premiere at the film festival in Guadalajara, he was invited to the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes as well as numerous other international film festivals. His film Lake Tahoe screened in the Competition of the Berlinale in 2008, where it won both the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize. Eimbcke also directed an episode of the portmanteau film Revolución that screened in the Berlinale Special in 2010. In 2013, he won top awards for his film Club Sandwich in both San Sebastián and Turin.

Ella Manzheeva, Russland: Tachal

Producers: Victoria Lupik (Anniko Films, Russia) and Elena Glikman (Telesto Film Company, Russia)

Ella Manzheeva was born in Elista, in the southern Russian Republic of Kalmykia in 1981. She first studied violin, then sound directing at the Saint Petersburg State University of Film and Television. Afterwards she studied directing at the High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors in Moscow. In 2013, Ella Manzheeva was invited to the Berlinale Talent Campus (called Berlinale Talents since 2014). Her first fictional feature, Chaiki (The Gulls), premiered in the Berlinale Forum in 2015.

In 2013, an international jury – consisting of Clare Binns, (Director of Programming and Acquisitions at City Screen, Great Britain), producer Cedomir Kolar (Asap Film, France) and Thomas Hailer (Berlinale Programme Manager, Germany) - has chosen six directors and their projects:

Emir Baigazin, Kazakhstan: The Wounded Angel

Producers: Beibit Muslimov and Anna Wilhelmi, Kazakhfilm Studios, Kazakhstan; Augenschein Filmproduktion, Germany; Capricci Films, France.

Born in Kazakhstan in 1984, Emir Baigazin studied film and television directing at the Kazakh National Academy of Arts. In 2007 he participated in the Asian Film Academy in Busan. He is also an alumnus of the 2008 Berlinale Talent Campus. Baigazin’s debut feature film, Harmony Lessons, was supported by the World Cinema Fund and celebrated its premiere in the Berlinale Competition 2013, where it won a Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution. The film was considered an extraordinary discovery and is now travelling the international festival circuit. The Wounded Angel, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Berlinale Panorama 2016.

Bence Fliegauf, Hungary: House of Isaura

Producer: Bence Fliegauf and Ernő Mesterházy, Fraktál Film, Hungary

Hungarian filmmaker Bence Fliegauf’s debut feature film Forest premiered in the Berlinale Forum in 2003. One year later, Dealer (2004) garnered him over 20 awards, including the FIPRESCI Prize at the Mar del Plata Film Festival. He won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival for Milky Way in 2007. His first English-language movie, Womb, was screened in Locarno and Toronto. The Berlinale Competition 2012 presented Fliegauf’s latest film, Just the Wind, which received the Jury Grand Prix and went on to be screened at many other film festivals.

Alistair Banks Griffin, USA: Oyster (working title)

Producer: Eric Overmyer, USA

Alistair Banks Griffin was born in 1978 in England and raised in New Orleans. He received his BA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Griffin’s short film Gauge (2008) premiered at the New York Film Festival. In 2009 he was the recipient of a Cinereach grant for his first feature film, Two Gates of Sleep, which premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and then won the New Talent Grand PIX Award at CPH:PIX in Copenhagen in 2011. The film has screened at numerous international festivals and museums.

Sebastián Lelio, Chile: A Fantastic Woman

Producer: Juan de Dios Larraín, Fábula, Chile; Komplizenfilm, Germany; Participant Media, USA.

Born in Chile in 1974, Sebastián Lelio graduated from the Escuela de Cine de Chile. In 2006, he completed his first film, La Sagrada Familia, which received many awards and international recognition. His second film, Navidad, made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. El Año del Tigre, his third feature film, was released in the international competition of the Locarno Film Festival in 2011. His latest film, Gloria, premiered in the Competition of the Berlinale in 2013, where it was highly acclaimed by the critics and the audience, and took home a Silver Bear for Best Actress. A Fantastic Woman, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Berlinale Competition 2017 where it won the Silver Bear for Best Script, and is nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film 2018.

Elina Psykou, Greece: Son of Sofia

Producers: Giorgos Karnavas, Heretic, Greece; Kinoelektron, France.

Born in 1977 in Greece, Elina Psykou studied film directing at the Lykourgos Stavrakos Film School and sociology at Panteion University, both in Athens. She went on to study cultural history at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. In 2007 she participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. She has written and directed two short films, Sunday Trip (2004) and Summer Holidays (2006). Psykou’s first fictional feature film, The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas, won the Best Work in Progress award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; the film had its world premiere in the Berlinale Forum in 2013. Son of Sofia, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in 2017 Tribeca where it won the Best International Narrative Feature Award.

José Luis Valle, Mexico: Operation Baby

Producer: José Luis Valle, Caverna Cine, Mexico

Born in El Salvador, José Luis Valle became a citizen of Mexico, where he studied literature and film. His short film Chimera won the Kodak Film School Competition and received an Honorary Mention at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in 2006. His documentary The Pope’s Miracle screened at the Locarno Film Festival in 2009. Valle’s first fictional feature, Workers, received support from the World Cinema Fund, premiered in the Berlinale Panorama in 2013, and won the Mezcal Prize for the best Mexican entry at the 28th Guadalajara International Film Festival.

In 2012, an international jury consisting of Bruno Bettati (producer Jirafa Films, Chile), Thomas Hailer (programme manager Berlinale, Germany), Simon Ofenloch (commissioning editor ZDF/ARTE, Germany), Michael J. Werner (chairman Fortissimo Films, Hong Kong) and Vibeke Windeløv (producer Windeløv/Lassen, Denmark) has chosen six participants and their projects for the first Berlinale Residency:

Matías Bize, Chile: The Memory of Water

Writers: Matías Bize and Julio Rojas
Producers: Adrian Solar (Ceneca Producciones, Chile) and Nicole Gerhards (NiKo Film, Germany)

Matías Bize is a graduate from the “Escuela de Cine de Chile”. At the age of 23, he directed the film Sábado (2003), which participated in various international film festivals receiving multiple awards. In 2005, his film In Bed (En la cama) premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival. About Crying (Lo Bueno de Llorar, 2007), also celebrated its premiere in Locarno. He later directed the film The Life of Fish (La Vida de los Peces) which was screened at the Venice International Film Festival in 2010. The film later won the Goya Award for Best Hispano-American movie. The Memory of Water, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Venice Days 2015.

Rebecca Daly, Ireland: Mammal

Writers: Rebecca Daly and Glenn Montgomery
Producer: Macdara Kelleher (Fastnet Films, Ireland); Les Films Fauves, Luxembourg; Rinkel Film, The Netherlands.

Following an MA in Film at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Rebecca Daly directed her first short, Joyriders, in 2006. Joyriders won the Irish Film Award and screened extensively at international festivals, winning several awards. Her short film Hum was selected and funded as one of the finalists for the Berlin Today Award 2010 within the framework of the Berlinale Talent Campus. Daly’s first feature film, The Other Side of Sleep, premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and was included in the official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. Mammal, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Sundance in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition 2016.

Samuel Maoz, Israel: Foxtrot

Writer: Samuel Maoz
Producer: Michael Weber (Pola Pandora, Germany)

After having been trained as a cameraman at the arts university of Tel-Aviv, Samuel Maoz did production design for several films and TV dramas. As a director, he first worked on documentaries, directing for example the Arte production Total Eclipse, before he made the transition to fiction films. His feature debut Lebanon won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival 2009 and went on to be screened at numerous film festivals, winning several awards. Lebanon also garnered the Grand Jury Prize and Best Script Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. At the European Film Awards 2010, Samuel Maoz won the prize for European Discovery of the Year. Foxtrot, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Venice Competition 2018 where it won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize, and went on to win 7 Israeli Film Academy Awards, among them Best Director. It was shortlisted for the Academy Awards 2018 as Best Foreign Language Film.

Raya Martin, Philippines: The Empire

Writers: Raya Martin and Norman Wilwayco
Producer: Arleen Cuevas (Cinematografica, Philippines)

Born in 1984 in the Philippines, Raya Martin has already directed several features and short films. In 2005, he participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. His film Now Showing was screened at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2008. One year later, the features Independencia, which was supported by the World Cinema Fund, as well as Manila were shown at the Cannes Film Festival 2009. Martin’s latest film, Buenas Noches, España, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival 2011, where he was also part of the jury for the international competition.

Rafi Pitts, Iran: Soy Nero

Writers: Rafi Pitts and Razvan Radulescu
Producer: Thanassis Karathanos (Twenty Twenty Vision, Germany); Senorita Films, France; Pimienta Films, Mexico; Schortcut, Lebanon.

Rafi Pitts was born in Iran in 1967. During the war between Iran and Iraq, in 1981, he fled the country and moved to Britain, where he graduated with a BA in Film and Photography in 1991. His first short, In Exile, was presented the same year at the London International Film Festival. In the 1990s, Pitts moved to Paris and worked as assistant director for various directors, among them Leos Carax, Jacques Doillon and Jean-Luc Godard. Rafi Pitts’ first feature, Season Five, was selected for the Venice Film Festival in 1997. His film It’s Winter premiered at the Berlinale in 2006, where it was nominated for the Golden Bear. In 2010, his fifth feature film The Hunter, which received support from the World Cinema Fund, was also screened in the Berlinale Competition. Soy Nero, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in the Berlinale Competition 2016.

Sacha Polak, Netherlands: Zurich

Writer: Helena van der Meulen
Producer: Marleen Slot (Viking Film, Netherlands); Rohfilm, Germany; A Private View, Belgium.

Luna will be the second feature film of director Sacha Polak. Her debut film Hemel, which was also a cooperation with scriptwriter Helena van der Meulen, premiered at the Berlinale Forum 2012 and won the FIPRESCI award. Polak graduated in 2006 from the Netherlands Film and Television Academy with her short film Teer which was selected for a number of international film festivals. After Teer came short films El Mourabbi (2007), Drang (2008), Under the Table (2008) and Brother, which was screened at Berlinale Generation 14plus in 2012. In 2010, Sacha Polak took part in the Berlinale Talent Campus. Zurich, developed in the Berlinale Residency, premiered in Berlinale Forum 2015.

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