Talent Campus picks five finalists

Pics to compete for Berlin Today Award

BERLIN — The Berlinale Talent Campus has nominated five short film projects as finalists for its Berlin Today Award, including productions from Alaska, India, Lebanon, Berlin and Brandenburg.

The winner will receive the award following the premiere of the shorts at the opening of next year’s Talent Campus, which runs as part of the Berlin Intl. Film Festival in February. The films will also screen worldwide in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.

A total of 176 young filmmakers from 72 countries applied to the competition, which calls for short films related to this year’s general theme of “My Wall” in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Projects include:

— U.S. filmmaker Gina Abatemarco’s “My Super Sea Wall,” a documentary produced by Berlin’s Anna Wendt Filmproduktion about the endangered Alaskan island Kivalina, which has been temporarily saved from complete inundation by a giant wall of sand built by its inhabitants.

— “Teleportation,” from German Markus Dietrich and Berlin’s Schiwago Film, which offers the “real” truth behind the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

— “Promenade,” from Lebanese filmmaker Sabine El Chamaa and Munich-based NEOS Film, a partially animated story of an elderly woman who builds herself a new shelter using the walls and rubble from her former house that was destroyed in the war.

— Indian participant Supriyo Sen’s “Wagah,” produced by Hamburg-based DETAilFILM, a documentary about a strange ritual that takes place at a frontier post along the 1,000-kilometer-long border between India and Pakistan.

— U.K. filmmaker Paul Cotter’s “Werner and the Wall,” produced with Berlin-based Kaminski.Stiehm.Film, about an old man who decides to rebuild the Berlin Wall.

Regional subsidy board Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg will support the productions along with additional contributions from the local film industry.

New to the Berlin Today Award this year is a one-month residency supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, which offers participants the opportunity to further develop their projects with their respective producers.

Shooting will take place through the end of the year in Alaska, Beirut, Berlin, Brandenburg and India.

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