CT: For instance, David Lowery’s talk fits well with this notion of an enthusiastic embracing of trial-and-error. The US-American indie director and Berlinale Talents alumnus is known for his films A Ghost Story (2017) and The Old Man & the Gun (2018). He’s going to be coming to Berlin straight from the set of his new film, and it is still not clear how the event at HAU1 is going to turn out, purposefully so. David’s going to be bringing along a lot of music, video clips and film sequences, and we’re going to take a trip through things that inspire him: the audience is supposed to be able to experience live with David how he develops the ideas for his films.
What moved you to want to tackle the topic of “mistakes”?
FW: On one hand, our themes come from the gut. On the other hand, for a number of years now – both for our Talents and for ourselves – we’ve been observing a growing tendency towards self-optimisation: everybody wants to get better, to make more beautiful and higher quality films, to be funded more solidly and successfully. That’s alright in its way too of course, but the pressure is increasing, which can lead to an incredible strain over the long haul. Naturally, by implication this focus on “mistakes” also has something to do with this self-optimisation, no doubt. But you also always have the option to stop and reflect for a moment. For us coming up with the theme this time was extremely soothing: “Let’s take a deep breath and fail better!” Now we want to discover where that will take us.
CT: We’ve also been deeply preoccupied for quite a while with how one can deal well with change. Today more than ever, we’re constantly confronted with a massive amount of innovation. In the film business, the rapid digital development has not only changed how we make films, it’s also changed all of the exploitation chains in particular. So with this theme, for us this year’s programme is also about learning to bolster one’s self and one’s own resilience in order to respond to new challenges as calmly and competently as possible. We’re pulling out all the stops, from an extensive talk with Tendo Nagenda, the VP of Original Film at Netflix, all the way to strong concepts for target audience work in the area of arthouse cinema.