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Berlinale Talents: No Talent’s Perfect


How to fail better: In its 17th year, Berlinale Talents is looking for mistakes. From February 9 to 14, 2019, altogether 250 Talents, about 130 experts and mentors, and the Berlin audience will report on situations in which they stumbled in their creative process and had to take paths that were different from the ones originally intended. The aim is not only to talk about how to deal productively with minor mistakes and major catastrophes. The approximately 100 workshops, talks, and film discussions, which will once again take place at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer, will also focus on the deliberate decision to “do things wrong” as an aesthetic experiment, a creative force of renewal, and a wilful rebellion of art against the norm.

As programme manager Florian Weghorn puts it, “We all make mistakes. It’s time for us to take a deep breath, be honest with each other, and question the reasons and who has the right to judge. Let’s openly debate what’s ‘right’ and what is supposedly ‘wrong’.”

Starting this year, Berlinale Talents is also promoting open dialogue and a change of perspective with a new interior design and seating arrangement — one that breaks with the hierarchies between stage and auditorium — in the HAU2. A newly initiated series of talks focuses on research methods for both documentary and fictional narratives and thereby also investigates the sources of most of the mistakes that occur. In view of the risks posed by “alternative facts” and outdated stereotypes, experts from the fields of journalism and film sensitise their audiences to the need for a more critical approach to content and share methods for achieving practical solutions.

3,401 applicants for 2019 — the world as a workplace

A total of 3,401 filmmakers have applied for Berlinale Talents 2019 (2018: 3,191). The percentage of female applicants increased to 44% – a continuous improvement compared to last year which encourages Berlinale Talents in its commitment to bring about gender parity in the film business, both in terms of industry structures and festival programming. The trend toward internationality is also continuing: applications were received from 130 countries. But these simple figures reflect a much more complex reality, because many of the applicants do not live and work in the places where they were born. There is an increasing divergence between the applicants’ nationality and their place of residence. Whatever the reasons for these relocations might be, in a political atmosphere in which there is often talk of border closures the Berlinale Talents applicants already represent a different, cosmopolitan culture through their international work. For the Berlinale itself, 250 of them — from the professional fields of directing, producing, acting, screenwriting, cinematography, editing, production design, film criticism, sales and distribution, score composition and sound design — will be selected and invited to Berlin.

Download the key visual and find more information on Berlinale Talents at

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, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union, the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board

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