Berlinale Talents’ dreamy programme is complete. Within the scope of the industry-led first part of the festival, Berlinale Talents continues to be a home for encounters between outstanding artists and the film-loving public. For the occasion, Berlinale Talents offers a host of familiar events featuring top-class guests, which can be attended virtually by the 205 invited Talents, as well as by the Berlin-based and international public between March 1 to 5. The 2021 Talents theme of “DREAMS” floats through each of the talks, panels and workshops, available live and cost-free, to be streamed at berlinale-talents.de and on social-media platforms, and made available later on demand on berlinale.de. Here no one dreams on their own: collaboration, solidarity and the collective exploration of new visions run through nearly each event – as a provision of courage in the face of the pandemic, but also as a way out of it.
Wake Up Before Bedtime
For some the day ends, for others it only begins: from March 1 to 5, Berlinale Talents meets daily in the company of prominent international filmmakers to take part in its virtual “sDream”. To dream in poetic as well as social spheres acquires new life, the following guests will take the digital stage: Céline Sciamma, whose Petite Maman is in the 2021 Competition; the grandmaster of dream state cinema, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Cemetery of Splendour), calls in from Thailand; Ava DuVernay (Selma, When They See Us) is joined in conversation with ARRAY and Berlinale filmmakers Takeshi Fukunaga, Hepi Mita and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers; and the International Jury of this year’s edition, who come together as a multifaceted artistic team to create a daydreamers’ Talents Tabletalk in the presence of Carlo Chatrian, the Artistic Director of the Berlinale. Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson, Dick Johnson is Dead) guides Berlinale Talents this year throughout as a mentor in the Camera Studio and brings her inspiration to the fore in an open session that outruns the usual format of moderated talks. Fiction and reality converge when Uli Hanisch walks us through the development of sets seemingly American, Mexican and Russian, yet ultimately very Berlin, that have captivated audiences worldwide in The Queen’s Gambit – all the while sitting in yet another “filmset”, the one that Hanisch and Talents alumnus Josef F. Brandl designed at the HAU3 especially for Berlinale Talents.
Cinema theatres across the world may still be closed, but filmmakers still need to be heard and seen. The creative confrontation with reality is not only an aspect of nightly dreams but also that of several events that offer possibilities for active audience-participation: co-producers Marie Dubas, Thao Dong and Weijie Lai make industry insiders as well as interested public members part of the truly intercontinental production journey behind their WCF funded film Vị (Taste, Encounters 2021), whose making involved Vietnamese, Singaporean, Thai, Taiwanese, French and German production companies. “Non-Scripted: Can We Write Cinema?” is a question Vincenzo Bugno and the public get to ask in the company of Franz Rodenkirchen (script consultant and Berlinale Talents mentor) in a conversation that also takes place in cooperation with the World Cinema Fund (WCF). The Talents of this year’s edition come forward with a pressing question of concern to us all: censorship and self-censorship – the focus of a public webinar titled “Censored: Limits on Our Dreams”.
It’s a sDream!
Zoom-fatigue doesn’t apply between March 1 to 5 as Berlinale Talents responds with curiosity to new realities. From the starting point of the digital world, the summit offers rich public experiences for all the senses and across the different film disciplines: dim the lights and dream with open ears, as sound designers Rana Eid from Lebanon, Tim Nielsen from the US and Alastair Sirkett from the United Kingdom invite us to cityscapes across the globe, a singular experience of acoustic navigation collected during the pandemic. Yet another world discovery – but in miniature – is to be made thanks to Tristan Oliver, cinematographer for Wes Anderson’s animated movies. And as the times and the incursion of the digital make us rethink our relation to our bodies and encounters with those of others, our embodied presence and the body politics are the topics of a webinar that unites actor and director Welket Bungué (Mudança, Forum Expanded 2021; Berlin Alexanderplatz) and Natascha Noack, a traveller between the realms of dance, movement, language and film.
The entire programme, including all guests and event-formats, can be found online at www.berlinale-talents.de. The diversity and productivity of the 205 Talents, 40 of whom work on their projects under the guidance of mentors, can be explored also with the digital Talents Lab Presentations on March 4 (participation is possible on request). And in the wake of this March edition, Berlinale Talents will also be launching a new podcast series in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut: “Berlinale’s House of Talents”.
All public events can streamed live and cost-free at berlinale-talents.de. Recordings of most events will be available on the website shortly after.