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Berlinale: a great cultural event and one of the most important dates for the international film industry. More than 334,000 sold tickets, more than 21,000 professional visitors from 127 countries, including more than 3,700 journalists: art, glamour, parties and business are all inseparably linked at the Berlinale.

Durban FilmMart partners with Talents Durban and announces call for applications for 2020 edition

The Durban FilmMart has announced a new partnership with Talents Durban, as applications open for the 2020 edition.

Talents Durban is a five-day talent development programme, which has been presented in Durban, South Africa for the past 12 years in co-operation with Berlinale Talents, an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival. This year’s Talents Durban edition is scheduled to take place from 16 to 20 July.

Up to 20 emerging African filmmakers and emerging film critics are selected to attend the programme. Talents Durban comprises workshops and seminars by industry experts with opportunities to connect with a global network of film industry professionals, and benchmark their work against African and global trends.

“Through discussion with the Berlinale Talents and the Durban International Film Festival, in which Talents was previously housed, we felt that as an industry facing programme, that it was a logical fit for it to be incorporated into the Durban FilmMart,” said Toni Monty, current Head of the DFM.

Christine Tröstrum, Project Manager of the Berlinale Talents commented, “Talents began in Durban ahead of the creation of the DFM 13 years ago. The Talents programme and the DFM have both now evolved into solid vital industry initiatives on the African continent. With our shared aim to create again more synergies in project development and promotion, we are sure that the intensified collaboration will provide some excellent opportunities for the participants.”

The DFM also announced the appointment, Menzi Mhlongo as the Manager of the programme for the 13th edition in 2020. “Menzi Mhlongo has been the Project Manager of Talents since 2017, and brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to the table, providing programme stability and excellent curatorial experience,’ said Toni Monty.

“The framework for the Talents Durban programme remains the same,” said Menzi Mhlongo. “This is a just an operational shift, and we will continue to support emerging talents from the continent – with a special attention to promoting a community of filmmakers to inspire growth and expansion of African cinema. I am very excited about working more closely with the industry through the platforms that the DFM provides.”

The Talents Durban programme comprises a Storytelling Lab for three features, three shorts and three TV/Web series currently in development; a Doc Lab in which three Talents Durban with documentary projects are given expert mentorship and can pitch their projects at the Durban FilmMart’s African Pitching Forum; the Animation Lab which is open to screenwriters and animation directors with animation projects and Talent Press which offers mentorship for three emerging African film critics and journalists

The Talents will also be able to participate and interact within the formal DFM (17-20 July) programme with the expected 1000 delegates in attendance this year.

Applications for Talents Durban are now open online here. Talents Durban will cover participants’ accommodation, airfare, and market accreditation. Deadline for application is 24 April 2020. Selected projects will be announced mid-May 2020.

Talents Durban is one of seven Talents International initiatives around the world formed by Berlinale Talents. It is an initiative of the Durban FilmMart in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, with support from the Durban Film Office, the Gauteng Film Commission, the International Emerging Film Talent Association, and the Namibia Film Commission.

The Africa Hub & EFM: Asking What If & Why Not


Having the amazing opportunity to attend the recent Africa Hub at the European Film Market (EFM) 2019, I was overwhelmed at the sheer variety of innovative and collaborative projects that were presented from the African continent.

I also was fortunate enough on my first day in Berlin to attend an EFM Horizon presentation from Professor Alex McDowell of World Building Media Lab (WBML) at the University of Southern California that framed my thinking for the rest of the week.

McDowell set out an inspiring thought process and way of thinking that could have a profound impact on all of us working to improve and develop the creative industries across Africa.

At the WBML, McDowell and his team imagine future worlds built on two key questions that initiate and inspire every project they do and every world they create – WHY NOT? & WHAT IF? Combining deep research with irrepressible creativity, the team builds potential future worlds to address some of the most pressing challenges facing society.

This ability, to imagine and then to actually map out and build future scenarios that are premised on a spirit of optimism and wonder, is urgently required by anyone working in the creative industries, and especially in Africa. Starting with the premises of what if and why not enables us to ask and imagine.

What if there were meaningful co-production treaties between African countries, and why not include gender parity requirements in these agreements? We can ask, why not have visa-on-arrival policies for all visitors, like Rwanda does, and what if African creatives could travel cheaply and easily throughout the continent?

From just these two scenarios entire future worlds can be imagined. Worlds that see financial and political cooperation between countries to support the film industry.

And what if we were to think even bigger and to question even more? World-building began within the realm of science fiction, which – we have seen – is more and more becoming science fact,where what is imagined can be achieved.

If we look around the world, it is clear to me that when we do imagine alternative models and scenarios, they are often the most successful and paradigm-changing.

At the Africa Hub, a few of these paradigm-shifting trends emerged, although not necessarily explicitly connected to one another. For example, the understanding -which is imminently sensible yet has not often been the norm – that it is more sustainable to focus on the person than the project, was expressed repeatedly during more than one presentation during the week.

A host of projects are now specifically working to develop future sustainable leaders, industry activists and entrepreneurs, instead of just focusing on the rush to develop and produce specific projects.

Projects including the Creative Producers Indaba, a collaboration between The Realness Institute EAVE and IFFR PRO, and the Film Pro Series partnership in East Africa between Docubox and The Robert Bosch Foundation, amongst others, are focused on developing the individual who can then go on to develop and support others within their regional industries, as opposed to developing a specific script or film.

Taking that to the next level, what if we focused more on education than on production from the start? Why not have film clubs at primary and high schools across Africa to instil an appreciation, love and a language of film amongst the next generation? What if we focused on creativity and creation as opposed to conformity and consumption?

Throughout the presentations and conversations at the Africa Hub there was a sense of both frustration and optimism: optimism, first and foremost, at the mere existence of the Africa Hub. Now in its third year, the Africa Hub continues to grow and there has been a conscious effort towards inclusivity and diversity in terms of its  attendees and programming.

Another cause for optimism is that more and more individuals and organisations are recognising the need for collaborative and sustainable projects that see past the once-off or short-term project. This optimistic and collaborative kind of thinking is exactly what can lead to the what if and why not kind of world-building that we require.

The frustration, however, arises from the realisation that many of the gatekeepers to resources are not keeping up with this mode of thinking. Whether it is the many African governments who refuse to open up visa regulations and to actively pursue economic and co-production cooperation talks, or some of the top European funders who structure their grants and programmes in accordance with antiquated and outmoded ways of thinking, the gatekeepers need to start asking themselves what if and why not?

What if these funders could open up Pan-African funding streams so that organisations operating across the continent could get support without having to apply to three or four regional offices? What if the gate-keepers actually listened to existing needs, instead of providing solutions to challenges that don’t exist?

What if African writers, directors, and producers got to retain their IP in co-productions? Why not set up equitable models of co-production and distribution that leave lasting financial impact on the affected regions?

Let us all keep asking these questions and challenging those with resources to do the same. It’s time to world build an ideal African industry that can become a reality.


IEFTA collaborates with the Berlinale Africa Hub


The International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), a Monaco-based not for profit organisation working with filmmakers from emerging economies, will participate in the Berlinale Africa Hub, an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM), providing an international forum for communication and networking for African filmmakers and creatives, as well as for filmmakers who are active on the continent, in particular in its sub-Saharan regions.

On 12 February, at the Africa Hub, IEFTA will present ‘Encouraging Collaboration with Emerging Filmmakers’, to discusses how they support talent in emerging markets, in particular Ethiopia, and how international film festivals, local filmmakers and organisations prosper within this collaboration. Time: 11h30 – 12h00.

Later that afternoon, IEFTA supports the panel discussion ‘Spotlight: Ethiopia’s Emerging Film Industry’, a discussion on the emerging film industry in Ethiopia, moderated by Martha Fessehatzion and featuring IEFTA ambassadors Beza Hailu Lemma and Henok Mebratu. Time: 15h30 – 16h30.

These panels will be followed by a networking cocktail hour hosted by IEFTA. Time 17h00-18h00.

The Berlinale Africa Hub places a spotlight in particular on the highly individual development of the African film industry, which – sparked by technological change – has created spaces for new and often local ideas, projects and innovations that represent the foundation for the African film industry of the future. The Berlinale Africa Hub is an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM) realised in co-operation with the World Cinema Fund, with Berlinale Talents, and with the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Among the missions of IEFTA, a Monaco-based, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, is to discover and promote emerging cinema talent from around the world, encourage dialogue between filmmakers, promote cultural diversity and international understanding, and engage the art of cinema. Focusing on the world’s developing regions, IEFTA provides opportunity and education to those with little to no access to resources for cinematic expression.

The Ladima Foundation at Berlinale Africa Hub 2019

The Ladima Foundation has been invited to take part in this year’s Berlinale Africa Hub as part of the European Film Market at the Berlinale 2019, taking place from 8 to 13 February 2019.

The Ladima Foundation is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the EFM in connection with the Berlinale Africa Hub.

The Foundation’s co-founder, Lara Utian-Preston has been invited to present a short keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Berlinale Africa Hub on 8 February. Her speech will follow the Words of Welcome by Michelle Müntefering (Secretary of State for International Cultural Policy, German Federal Foreign Office). Tsitsi Dangarembga of the African Women Filmmakers Hub, Zimbabwe will also present a keynote at the Opening.

During this speech, Utian-Preston will take the opportunity to announce a number of initiatives and partnerships that will be rolled out by the Ladima Foundation in 2019.

Edima Otuokon, the other co-founder of the Ladima Foundation, will then take part in a panel discussion Interconnectivity, Self-Empowerment and Inclusive Network Building of African Women Film Professionals. This Africa Hub Talk will focus on network building through online repertories and will foreground the strategies, organisations and individuals that aim at creating a self-empowering, self-enabling inclusive network of African women film professionals.

Panelists will include:

Tsitsi Dangarembga (AWFH, Zimbabwe);
Bongiwe Selane (Producer, South Africa);
Mmabatho Kau (Producer, South Africa);
Edima Otuokon (The Ladima Foundation, Nigeria).

Moderated by Katarina Hedrén (Goethe Institute, South Africa).

The full schedule of talks at the Berlinale Africa Hub can be found here: Africa Hub Talks

This Africa Hub Talk also forms part of the EFM’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative, led by Themba Bhebhe (Diversity & Inclusion – EFM).

Berlinale Africa Hub, DocSalon & EFM Producers Hub

For the third year in a row, the Berlinale Africa Hub, an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM), is providing an international forum for communication and networking for African filmmakers and creatives, as well as for filmmakers who are active on the continent, in particular in its sub-Saharan regions. Over the course of six days, from 8 to 13 February, filmmakers, producers, distributors, buyers, investors and other experts have the opportunity to introduce themselves, share experiences and know-how and forge connections in panels, presentations, speed dating sessions and while hanging out in the VR Lounge. The Berlinale Africa Hub places a spotlight in particular on the highly individual development of the African film industry, which – sparked by technological change – has created spaces for new and often local ideas, projects and innovations that represent the foundation for the African film industry of the future. The “Berlinale Africa Hub”, made possible with the generous support of the Federal Foreign Office and organised in co-operation with DISCOP, will once again take place at the Gropius Park.

The Berlinale Africa Hub will open on Friday, 8 February, with words of welcome by Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.

At this year’s event, the daily panel discussions will cover such topics as “Inclusive Network Building for African Women Film Professionals”, “The African Film Market of the Future”, “A New Co-Production and Distribution Framework Between Europe and Africa” as well as shed light on Ethiopia’s emerging film industry. Companies and institutions such as the Pan-African Film Consortium (Nigeria), Badel Media (Canada), Cultural Video Production (Kenya), Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EU), Pan-African Alliance of Screenwriters and Directors (APASER), The International Emerging Film Talent Association (Monaco) and many more will be presenting their projects and ideas for the African market, followed by extensive Q&As.

In the PopUp Offices, Pan-African Film Consortium (Nigeria), AfriDocs (South Africa), Nollywood Germany (Germany), Rushlake Media (Germany) and Wesgro Film and Media Promotion (South Africa) will be available for meetings and discussions with other market participants. This year, visitors can once again check out numerous VR projects in the VR Lounge. Following the presentations and talks, in the early hours of each evening the Berlinale Africa Hub Happy Hours will also be in effect, offering opportunities to network and enter into conversation.

The Berlinale Africa Hub is an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM) realised in co-operation with the World Cinema Fund (and its new special programme WCF Africa ­– founded in 2016 – which promotes films from sub-Saharan Africa with the support of the Federal Foreign Office), with Berlinale Talents (and its sister programme Talents Durban, which supports talented filmmakers from Africa throughout the year) and with the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

DocSalon: The Meeting Place for Documentary Filmmakers from 8 to 12 February

For the eleventh time, DocSalon will serve as the meeting place for exchange and networking for the documentary film branch at the EFM. The changes instituted in 2018 – the new spatial design for DocSalon as well as the thematic consolidation and further development of the programme – were met with great enthusiasm by visitors.

For the programme for this year’s edition, DocSalon is once again working closely with the European Documentary Network (EDN). In the scope of five Salon Talks, DocSalon will present current topics of interest for the branch, whether in a highly concrete fashion using case studies or through wide-ranging discussion of subjects of socio-political relevance such as inclusive funding policies for documentary films. The tried-and-true event series Meet the Festivals, in which participants can introduce themselves and present their projects, and HighTea with Experts, roundtable sessions moderated by seasoned pros from the fields of financing, production and sales, will take place daily from 8 to 12 February. The eleventh edition of DocSalon is once again organised in co-operation with the documentary film festivals IDFA, CPH:DOX, DOK Leipzig, Visions du Réel, Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Canadian festival Hot Docs.

EFM Producers Hub: The Perfect Fit for Producers

The EFM Producers Hub, a platform created specifically to meet the needs of producers, will take place for the fifth time at the Gropius Bau as a part of the EFM. This year’s programme encompasses a range of discussions and presentations, in which topics of relevance to producers will be presented, such as “Development Support for European Independent Producers” by Creative Europe – MEDIA and an informational event dealing with the role of the European Film Commission Network.

In addition, this year there will be a keynote speech on the significance of producing collaboratively and inclusively with underrepresented groups, followed by a discussion on the relevant tools and benefits from the perspective of producers. Once again this year, producers will be able to receive free advice from experts regarding funding and distribution strategies. A full day of programming is devoted to the Sino-European Production Seminar, which promotes collaboration between European and Chinese producers, organised in co-operation with the Bridging the Dragon network. The EFM Producers Hub is organised in co-operation with the international producer network (ACE Producers) and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Three South Africans selected to participate at the 17th Berlinale Talents

From 9 to 14 February 2019, 250 up-and-coming film professionals – 141 women and 109 men – from 77 countries, will gather at Berlinale Talents to share ideas, network, and further develop their latest projects. This year’s group is socially, culturally, and artistically extremely diverse.

The compelling and artistically outstanding works of the Talents reflect central topics of our times. Prominent themes include participation in society, active involvement in social issues and, increasingly, climate and environmental protection.

Many Talents are also committed to sustainability at a professional level, and they demonstrate how to promote change in concrete terms — a particular focus of interest for the Berlinale Talents programme in general. This applies to the pressing themes of gender equality and diversity.

Additionally, Berlinale Talents also supports the innovative concepts of Talents and alumni, such as blockchain-based distribution and an increasingly digitised market.

Berlinale Talents 2019

The Talents come from the fields of directing (108), producing (49), acting (14), screenwriting (6), cinematography (16), editing (13), production design (11), sales and distribution (10), score composition (7) and sound design (8). This year’s Talents selection includes two film professionals that are working and living in South Africa, Tamsin Ranger and Sydelle Williow Smith.

Tamsin Ranger is a producer and distributor from Cape Town who focuses on African stories. She co-produced Rafiki which was screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2018. Sydelle Willow Smith is not only a distributor for documentaries, such as Strike a Rock, but also an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, NGO director and lecturer. She co-founded Sunshine Cinema, a solar-powered mobile cinema that hosts off the grid screenings in diverse spaces.

In addition, South African-born director Joshua Magor has also been selected. Magor is currently splitting his time between South Africa and London, and his first feature film Siyabonga – We are Thankful was selected for the Official Competition at Locarno Film Festival 2018.

You can find the full 2019 selection here:

The 250 Talents / 41 film projects in the Project Labs

Berlinale Talents 2018

The Berlinale Talents team is proud to welcome 250 filmmakers from 81 countries in Berlin from 17 to 22 February 2018, including 128 women and 122 men. For six days they will have the opportunity to engage with one another, with experts and the public, to critically question their own artistic standpoint and to further develop their film projects.

A vast array of artistic and technical backgrounds

The selection for 2018 includes, amongst others, Angela Guerrero, the Mexican distributor of Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro (Panorama 2017), Chinese director Yang Qiu, whose short film A Gentle Night was awarded a Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes, and Ana Pfaff, the Spanish editor of Carla Simón’s Estiu 1993, which received the GWFF Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale in 2017. Turkish actress Elit Işcan, who played one of the five sisters in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s multiple award-winning Mustang, will also come to Berlinale Talents. Many of the selected Talents raise questions about their own responsibility in the film industry, or are concerned with current political issues like gender equality. They include the Brazilian producer Marcella Jacques, whose films are about women in precarious conditions, or German director Leonie Krippendorff (Looping), who addresses gender aspects and the vulnerability of the body. Moreover, many participants personify the interdisciplinary character of Berlinale Talents, for example the Egyptian Talent Mohamad El-Hadidi, who works as a successful director, producer, cinematographer and photographer.

Prominent alumni continue to draw on creative potential of Berlinale Talents

As varied as their backgrounds are, one thing unites all 250 participants: Berlinale Talents represents an important stepping stone in their careers. Afterwards, they can look forward to joining an illustrious alumni network that includes the producers Cait Pansegrouw and Elias Ribeiro, as well as director John Trengove who realised The Wound (Panorama Opening Film 2017): The film, which was further developed by director John Trengove at Berlinale Talents in 2014 and received production and distribution funding from the World Cinema Fund, is currently shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The active alumni community has grown to more than 5,400 former Talents, among them prominent figures such as Cristian Mungiu, Ana Lily Amirpour, Joachim Trier, Elisabeth Moss and David Lowery, whose most recent film, A Ghost Story, was released to wide critical acclaim. For Lowery, Berlinale Talents was a pivotal moment in his professional development: “Berlin is where I first kicked everything off. It was the first time I’d ever received any recognition for anything film-related, and as such it was a momentous jumpstart to my career.”

Selecting 250 Talents for Berlinale Talents 2018

The selected Talents come from the following fields: directing (99), producing (52), acting (13), screenwriting (10), cinematography (17), editing (14), production design (11), sales and distribution (10), score composition (10) and sound design (6). 40 Talents will further develop their documentary, feature and short film projects in the mentor-guided Project Labs, and eight film critics will join the Talent Press to explore new paths in film journalism. Talents are generally in the fifth to tenth year of their careers and come with professional expertise and festival experience under their belts. In addition to looking at their artistic achievements, the local impact and relevance of their work’s content in their respective countries of origin are also part of the criteria that the international selection committees consider when making their decision.


You can find the selection here:
250 Talents / 40 film projects in the Project Labs
Please note: The complete Berlinale Talents programme will be published on 6 February.

Tickets to public events and film screenings can be purchased online starting 12 February on www.berlinale.de or at the festival box offices.


Berlinale Co-Production Market call for submissions

From 8 to 10 February 2015 the 12th Berlinale Co-Production Market will arrange
over 1000 one-on-one meetings for selected projects with potential co-producers,
financiers, world sales agents, distributors, as well as representatives of TV channels
and funding bodies.

The Berlinale Co-Production Market serves as a platform for producers to introduce
their feature projects. The festival also offers industry professional new insights into
financing options and valuable networking opportunities.

Experienced producers from around the world may submit new feature film projects
to the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2015 until 22 October 2014. With budgets
between one and twenty million euros, the projects should be suitable for
international co-production and have 30% of their financing already in place.

This year, Berlinale directors – directors who have shown a film in one of the festival’s
sections previously – may enter their new projects even if they do not meet all the
Berlinale Co-Production Market’s financing criteria.

Approximately 25 projects will be selected from the entries submitted by December
this year. A further ten projects will be presented at the Talent Project Market in
cooperation with Berlinale Talents.

Project Requirements

– Feature-length fiction film with international market potential (for theatrical

– Project suitable for international co-production and open for co-producers

– Full script available

– A minimum of 30% of the financing, or at least the local production support,
must be secured

– Budget range: €1-20 million

– The company submitting the project must have completed at least one
international co-production

Project Submission (by e-mail)

– Completed submission form

– Approx. 5-8 page treatment/expose in English

– 5-page script excerpt

– Financing plan (in euros)

– Director’s previous work sample (as a link)

How to apply to participate without a project

Experienced producers and financiers who are looking for projects to co-produce and
do not wish to present their own projects can contact
coproductionmarket@berlinale.de for details on the application.

Application forms and general guidelines for submitting projects for 2015 can be
accessed at Berlin International Film Festival website.

Berlinale Special Mention for SA co-prod

Layla Fourie, the South Africa-Germany-France co-production directed by South African-born Pia Marais, received a Special Mention at the closing of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) on 17 February.

The top prize, the Golden Bear for Best Film, went to the Romanian film Child’s Pose by Călin Peter Netzer. The Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear) was awarded to An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker by Danis Tanović.

The Alfred Bauer Prize (Silver Bear), in memory of the festival founder, for a feature film that opens new perspectives was presented to Vic+Flo Saw a Bear by Denis Cote.

David Gordon Green won the Silver Bear for Best Director for Prince Avalanche (Prince Avalanche)

Silver Bear acting awards went to Paulina Garcia for her role in Gloria by Sebastian Lelio and Nazif Mujić for An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker.

The Silver Bear for Best Script went to Jafar Panahi for Closed Curtain directed by Panahi himself and Kamboziya Partovi

Kim Mordaunt’s The Rocket won the Best First Feature Award.

For a full list of winners visit www.berlinale.de

Screening the Berlinale

Doremi, a leader in digital cinema technology, is the official supplier of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale). The company is providing 20 sets of equipment to support projections at the festival in 2D and 3D, and in 2K and 4K resolutions.

At Berlinale 2013 the Doremi equipment includes two types of digital cinema servers, the DCP-2000 and the Integrated Media Block (IMB)/ ShowVault.

Ove Sander, technical manager of Digital Cinema at the Berlinale says: “We are very excited to have Doremi as a new partner for Digital Cinema this year. Its server products are used by the majority of cinemas that we use for the festival, so being able to also equip our temporary venues, such as the Berlinale Palast, with these systems makes the management and planning of our infrastructure a lot easier.

The Doremi ShowVaults can easily be integrated into our fibre network, so for the first time the Berlinale will transfer DCPs directly via this high-speed network into the different venues.”

With 25 years’ experience, Doremi has worked with many major international festivals. Doremi servers have earned a reputation for efficiency and reliability, and are the most installed and widely used cinema servers worldwide. The IMB & ShowVault solution includes features to provide efficient operation for the latest cinema requirements. These include a double 3G SDI input, an HDMI input with HDCP and HDMI 3D connections as well as support for 4K and 48/60fps high frame rate (HFR) screenings.

The video input can be powered via PCI Express, HDMI and SDI connections, and the use of just one RJ45 audio output helps to simplify the cabling. The IMB can de-interlace 1080i inputs, and outputs all formats in native XYZ colorspace, so avoiding the need to change projector settings when switching between DCI movies and television footage.

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