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10 Years of Talent Campus

February 2012 | Berlinale

Happy Campus! British Council celebrates 10 years of support for new talent

The Berlinale Talent Campus is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this month. By the time it finishes on 16 February, over 450 emerging UK film ‘talents’ (some now very much established) will have passed through its doors in the decade since 2003.

A six day creative summit for up-and-coming filmmakers during the Berlin International Film Festival, the Campus is a major fixture in the festival calendar. Truly international in scope, not only are participants and industry experts invited to attend from all over the world, but there are now off-shoot Talent Campus events run annually in Guadalajara, Buenos Aires, Sarajevo, Durban and Tokyo.

British Council Film is enormously proud to be a founding supporter of the Campus and continues to contribute funding to enable the Campus to subsidise the UK participants’ travel and accommodation costs. The list of Campus alumni is extraordinary, and includes filmmakers have gone on to become part of the UK film industry establishment. They include:

Daniel Elliot – Berlin & Venice winning short film director
Alicia DuffyBAFTA / Cannes nominee; TCM winning director
Adrian Sturges – producer of The Escapist, The Disappearence of Alice Creed, and Albatross
Clio Barnard – dir. The Arbor
Alexis Dos Santos – dir. Unmade Beds, Glue, and 2012 Sundance short Random Acts
Jes Benstock – dir. The British Guide To Showing Off
Matt Wilkinson – former Development Exec. at Working Title Films and now producer at Stigma Films who have a first look deal at Pathé UK
Camilla Bray - producer at Ken Loach's Sixteen Films
Anna Higgs - Commissioning Executive at Film 4.0
Charlotte Walls - Producer at Matador Pictures
Amanda Boyle - dir. on Skins and Misfits and a Screen International 2005 Star of Tomorrow)

Anna Higgs, who has recently been appointed Commissioning Executive at Channel 4’s new digital arm, Film 4.0, took part in 2007 and says it had a significant affect on her future networks:

“I attended the Talent Campus just as I was graduating from a Masters in Producing at the NFTS. For me it was a unique opportunity to understand the industry in a European and global context. I was able to develop relationships with new talent and established professionals at the Campus that I still draw on today.”

This year’s participants include Rachel Tunnard, who is both a screenwriter as well as editor of numerous award-winning short films (Fixing Luca, Native Son) as well as the Michael Powell Award-winning feature film Skeletons; Oli Harbottle, Head of Distribution at social documentary distribution outfit Dogwoof; and Michelle Eastwood, producer at Escape Films (By The Grace of God, In Our Name) whose project, Bummer, has also been accepted onto the highly competitive Berlin Talent Campus Project Market:

“I am totally thrilled to have been selected for the Berlin Talent Campus and the Talent Project Market. I’m sure the Campus will give me the opportunity to meet my contemporaries from around the world from writers to directors to distributors, with whom I hope to start lasting relationships. Being selected for the Talent Project Market with the project ‘Bummer’ is also fantastic as it means Escape Films has a coveted spot in the Berlin co-production market and we have two days of back-to-back meetings with international producers, financiers, distributors and sales agents. This kind of exposure for ‘Bummer’ is extremely useful and again, we hope that these meetings will help Escape to build a wider network of international partners that we will work with in the future.”

For its 2012 outing the Campus received more than 4000 applications from 137 countries for programme that boasts masterclasses covering documentary, screenwriting, post-production, short film, distribution, design and cross-media storytelling, alongside some serious networking and one-to-ones. And big names leading from the front include Juliette Binoche, acclaimed Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan and our own Mike Leigh alongside Mark Cousins, Keanu Reeves and Andie McDowell.

British Council Film, who couldn’t resist the opportunity to get in on the action and celebrate a decade of Campus success, will also be attending. If you’re heading out there then we look forward to catching up with you. If you’re not, then make sure you get you application in for next year!