Berlinale Talents is the annual summit and networking platform of the Berlin International Film Festival for 250 outstanding creatives from the fields of film and drama series. The 2019 Berlinale Talents team will welcome filmmakers from 77 countries to Berlin from February 9th to 14th, 2019, including 141 women and 109 men. Three of their number will be Irish: writer/director Sean Clancy, producer Jessie Fisk, and UK-based distributor Síle Culley.
Leitrim-based filmmaker Sean Clancy has an extensive back catalogue of work in music videos and commercials, and is best known for his short film Cavalier, which won Best Comedy at the Underground Short Film Festival in 2014. He has most recently written and directed the feature film Locus of Control, which won a Jury Special Recognition Award at the Silk Road Film Festival last year and will be released later this year.
Jessie Fisk is one half of new Irish production company Feline Films, which she established with Nathalie Biancheri. They are currently in development on the company’s first feature Wolf, which Fisk will produce and Biancheri will direct. Fisk’s first narrative feature as lead producer, Song of Granite, premiered at SXSW and was released in the US by Oscilloscope. It was also Ireland’s submission for the foreign language category of the 2018 academy awards and was nominated for three Irish Film and Television Awards. Her next feature release is the Mark O’Halloran-scripted Rialto, which is directed by Peter Mackie Burns (Daphne) and stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. Fisk is an alumni of the Rotterdam Producers Lab.
Dubliner Síle Culley moved to the UK to study at the prestigious National Film and Television School. Shortly after graduating, Síle stepped into distribution at Pulse Films, where she worked on their campaigns for 20,000 Days on Earth, The Dirties, The Possibilities are Endless, amongst others, before managing Sales and Distribution on the annual box office record-breaking André Rieu’s Maastricht concert series. Culley joined Altitude’s Theatrical Sales team in 2017, where she worke on the Academy Award-nominated The Florida Project, Loving Vincent and Loveless.
For six days they will have the opportunity to engage with one another, experts and the public, to critically question their own artistic standpoint and to further develop their film projects.
Previous Irish Berlinale Talents include Ailbhe Keogan, Andrew Freedman, Brian Deane, Cathal Ó Cuaig, Cathy Brady is a two-time IFTA-winning director from Newry, Co. Down best known for her work on Can't Cope, Won't Cope and upcoming feature Wildfire., Conor Ferguson, Eamon Nolan, Ed Godsell, Fiona Ashe, Kate Dolan, Lesley Conroy, Luke Leslie, Mark Noonan, Michael Lavelle, Neasa Hardiman, Nora Windeck, Rebecca Daly, Róisín Loughrey, Rory Dungan, Sean Cuthbert, Simon Brown, Stephen O’Connell, and Van Poynton. Writer/director/producer Ian Hunt Duffy was our last, in 2018.
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). Among them are a particularly large number of Talents who innovatively explore digital workflows from production to distribution and increasingly choose hybrid formats and narrative styles. 42 Talents will take advantage of mentoring support at the Project Labs to develop their documentary, feature film, and short film projects. Meanwhile, eight Talent Press film critics will discuss the films and themes of the Berlin International Film Festival and, together with guests, will analyse the new roles played by journalists in the film festival landscape. The selected Talents are not beginners. Many of them received their film school degrees a decade ago, have gathered professional experience since then, and are regular festival guests. The Berlinale Talents international selection committee not only evaluated the Talents’ individual artistic performance, but also takes into account how social and economic contexts in their countries of origin are reflected in their work and how the films feed into debates about the future that are taking place there.
Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, in cooperation with Creative Europe MEDIA, a programme of the European Union, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. It was initiated in 2003.