Berlinale: Berlinale Talents

Berlinale Talents

At Berlinale Talents creatives, stars and innovators from the film and art worlds enter into dialogue with the festival’s audiences and network with 250 invited Talents from all disciplines in front of and behind the camera.

In an extensive programme of public talks, discussions and workshops, Berlinale Talents encourages exchange about films, TV series and how they came into being. For cineastes and industry professionals alike, the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatre becomes the hot spot for encounters with audience favourites from the festival sections as well as many experts and stars from the film and art worlds who can only be met at Berlinale Talents.

Open-mindedness and a passion for discovery are the hallmarks of Berlinale Talents, the festival's hotbed of creativity: Jury President Meryl Streep discusses the role of women within the Hollywood system; Christo speaks about longevity in art; and film composer Ryūichi Sakamoto improvises live at the piano. Young creatives provide insights into their most recent web series from Finland; shed a light on queer cinema from Brazil; or critically question the state of film criticism in present-day Turkey. As with everywhere at the Berlinale, the audience can participate in the events and contribute their questions and opinions.

For the annual 250 emerging film and TV series makers from over 80 countries, the vibrant six days at Berlinale Talents are also a huge networking opportunity and a key step in their careers. In an industry that is often still characterised by ego, gender discrimination and hierarchies, at Berlinale Talents they practice and propagate an experiment in equal and fair teamwork across the boundaries of their disciplines.

Every year over 3,000 film and TV series makers from more than 130 countries apply to Berlinale Talents. Selected by an independent jury, the 250 participants are not right at the start of their careers. With an average age of slightly over 30, they bring both the diversity of their cultures and their professional experiences with them to Berlin. In addition to the talks, the Talents pursue collaborative learning in various internal events on offer and visit labs to further develop new feature, documentary and short film projects as well as TV series. Berlinale Talents organises professional workshops on acting, cinematography, film distribution and world sales, editing, production design, score composition, sound design, and film criticism. Cooperations with the European Film Market, the World Cinema Fund and the Berlinale Co-Production Market lower the hurdles for financing films, developing international partnerships and adopting innovative techniques like virtual reality.

Berlinale Talents is constantly in motion. Founded in 2003, the development team attaches great importance to a dynamic programme structure that can respond quickly to changes in the industry. Whereas, at the beginning, the focus was primarily on masterclasses with well-known personalities, today the programme is increasingly shaped by dialogue-orientated events with a greater emphasis on audience participation. The influence of digital media on the storytelling of tomorrow, international trends in new TV series formats, or artistic action and reaction to current social crises have always been and remain important topics. As an initiative where at least 50% of participants and experts are women, Berlinale Talents can also actively advance current debates such as #MeToo and #TimesUp and has for years already helped to fashion systematic changes in a practical manner.

Berlinale Talents has accompanied many of today's renowned film creatives at the early stages of their careers, including Cristian Mungiu, Ana Lily Amirpour, Joachim Trier and Elisabeth Moss. For over 100 alumni each year things come a full circle when they return to the Berlinale with their films, like, for example, the 2018 winner of the Golden Bear Adina Pintilie. The now more than 7,500 alumni remain in contact, meet and collaborate with each other throughout the world. Berlinale Talents works closely with other festivals and supports filmmakers and film critics in extending their regional networks. Talents initiatives also take place every year in Beirut (Lebanon), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Durban (South Africa), Guadalajara (Mexico), Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Tokyo (Japan).

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, and is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board.