Education event gathers 350 young filmmakers at Berlin

Since launching in 2003, the Talent Campus has evolved into an integral part of the Berlinale. And this year more than 30 titles at the fest boast alumni from the educational platform, ranging from producers, directors and screenwriters to cinematographers, composers and production designers.

The Campus gathers 350 young filmmakers from around the world for a week of learning, sharing and hands-on experience, and the event has led to the formation of tight networks.

Former Campus participants have teamed on a number of titles screening in Berlin this year, including “Fucking Different Sao Paulo,” the fourth installment in the “Fucking Different” gay and lesbian film franchise; Mexican omnibus work “Revolucion”; and Georgian Generations screener “Susa.”

Campus program manager Matthijs Wouter Knol, who oversees the Campus with project manager Christine Troestrum, said it clearly shows that there is an international community of filmmakers eager to work together and that participants continue to benefit by remaining in touch.

“People at the Campus are around the same age, everybody is treated equally, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what your background is,” said Knol.

This year’s mentors include Yoji Yamada, whose film “About Her Brother” closes the fest, Stephen Daldry, Isabel Coixet, Gael Garcia Bernal and Mike Medavoy.

Stephen Frears and Bosnian helmer Jasmila Zbanic, whose “On the Path” unspools in competition, will be on hand to discuss storytelling at one panel, while Fred Roos will offer his views on casting internationally at another.

Iranian helmer Rafi Pitts, who directed Golden Bear contender “The Hunter,” is joining Cameroonian filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno (“Sacred Places”) and Indian director Madhushree Dutta on the subject of intercontinental connections among international filmmakers, and German helmer Tom Tykwer will discuss opportunities and the future of cinema in Africa.

New this year is the actors’ hands-on program. In the past the Campus has focused on behind-the-camera disciplines, and while Knol says some actors have always attended the Campus, this is the first time a special focus has been offered for thesps.

A joint initiative between regional funder Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the European Union’s Media Program and U.K. training org Skillset, the initiative has gone global with Talent Campuses at fests in Guadalajara, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Durban, South Africa; and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzogovina.

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