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Prizing first-timers

Berlinale adds award, guest speakers

BERLIN — The Berlin Film Festival dished out a double dose of news Tuesday, unveiling its first-feature prize and a list of industryites including jury prexy Charlotte Rampling as guest speakers at this year’s Talent Campus.

Selecting the winner of the first-feature prize, worth E25,000 ($31,000), will be Italian actress Valentina Cervi (“Smalltown, Italy”), Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic (“A Midwinter Night’s Dream”) and Austrian helmer Hans Weingartner (“The Edukators”).

The prize coin is donated by the Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film und Fernsehrechten (GWFF), an org that safeguards film and TV rights.

There will be 13 features competing — three directorial debuts screening in the competition, six from Panorama and four from the Kinderfilmfest’s 14plus sidebar.

Forum screeners will not participate because the section already has its Wolfgang Staudte Prize for first feature.

The winner will be announced Feb. 18 at the Berlinale award ceremony.

Nod replaces the Blue Angel Award, which had been presented by copyright org Agicoa, in which GWFF is the major shareholder.

Meanwhile, guest speakers joining Rampling at the Talent Campus include Wim Wenders, Park Chan-wook, Christopher Doyle, Anthony Dod Mantle, Stephen Warbeck, Jim Clark and Angie Lam.

The Berlin Film Festival’s educational platform is for the first time opening most of its events to the public. Some 520 young filmmakers from around the world are taking part in the event.

This year’s Campus, which will focus on editing, takes place Feb. 11-16 in the House of World Cultures near Potsdamer Platz.

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