Cultivating New Talent at the '04 Berlinale
by Eugene Hernandez
More than 500 filmmakers from 84 countries, the majority are directors and writers, are gathering in Berlin at the second Talent Campus, a week long Berlinale event intended to cultivate new talent via special seminars, panels and networking opportunities.
Calling the Talent Campus "a week-long summer camp for filmmakers," attendee Elizabeth Lucas, a filmmaker from New York added, "There is unbelievable access to top people." The director, whose short "Isabella Rico," has screened on the festival circuit, is shopping a pair of scripts here in Berlin. She told indieWIRE that the Talent Campus has been valuable in helping her get the lay of the land as she sorts out strategies for her approach to people in the film industry.
Producer Peter Broderick, formerly of Next Wave Films, addressed the Talent Campus earlier this week and met with Lucas and other filmmakers in one-on-one sessions after his digital filmmaking presentation.
"This is a model that will be emulated or replicated at other places," Broderick told indieWIRE, adding that it is a great opportunity for young filmmakers who wouldn't otherwise have the chance to get exposed to such seasoned members of the film community. "People are working in very different conditions," explained Broderick, adding, "Potentially (they) can find teammates to create projects with."
Director Mike Leigh, editor Walter Murch, and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus are among the advisors who have addressed the Campus this week. Director Elizabeth Lucas recommends that next year organizers create even more opportunities for smaller, intimate sessions with the counselors, "perhaps something active, like actors working on a scene together," she suggested. "Smaller group things and demos are always best."
IFP Shepherds New U.S. Filmmakers in Berlin
Fourteen new films, from a crop of new filmmakers from the United States, are having their European debut here in Berlin at the European Film Market as part of a special showcase from the annual IFP Market in New York. Some of the movies are also participating in the festival, like Josh Marston's Berlinale competition entry "Maria Full of Grace," Rodney Evans' "Brother to Brother" in the Panorama section, and Robert Stone's "Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army," Jennifer Todd Reeves' "The Time We Killed" and Paul Cronin's "Film as Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16" in the Forum.
Projects screening exclusively in the Market here in Berlin include a number of Sundance 2004 award winners and competition entries: Ross Kaufman & Zana Briski's "Born Into Brothels" (documentary audience prize), Catherine Tambini, Carlos Sandoval and Nigel Nobel's "Farmingville" (documentary special jury award), Ramona Diaz's "Imelda" (cinematography award), and other projects from Sundance include Nicole Kassell's dramatic competition entry "The Woodsman." Other films participating include Benno Schoberth's 2004 Slamdance and Cinequest entry, "Shelter," Gretchen Berland & Mike Majoros' 2003 Cinequest entry, "Rolling," Marjan Sanfina & Joseph Boyle's "Seeds," and Barbara Rick's "In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick's Journey of Faith."
New Critical Voices
This year's Talent Campus is also welcoming a new crop of eleven young film journalists from eleven countries who are publishing the daily "Talent Press" newsletter. In the paper, young critics are offering their takes on some of the festivals buzz films and giving Berlinale attendees a perspective on festival films not found in the more tradition trade press.
"To examine close-ups used by a director is one way to cut to the heart of what he or she wants to express," writes Saul Symonds in a review," In Catherine Breillat's 'Anatomy of Hell' the close-ups are reserved for the anus and the vagina of the central female character. In Breillat's vision it is through these orifices that the truest form of inter-human communication is realized."