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Berlin Today Award 2009 goes to…

On Saturday evening (7.2.) Festival Director Dieter Kosslick and Campus Programme Manager Matthijs Wouter Knol opened the 2009 edition of the Berlinale Talent Campus before approx. 600 invited guests at the Theater Hebbel am Ufer, HAU 1. 350 Talents from 106 countries will converge at the Hebbel am Ufer until 12.2. to exchange with international experts and network amongst themselves. Directors and screenwriters Sir David Hare (The Reader) and Daniela Thomas (O Primeiro Dia) as well as composer Max Richter, mentor of the Volkswagen Score Competition, welcomed this year’s participants, partners and guests. The evening culminated in the world premiere of five short films nominated for the Berlin Today Award 2009. The short films dealt with the theme “My Wall” and were realised with support from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Federal Foreign Office.

“And the Berlin Today Award 2009 goes to…”
During the “Dine & Shine Talents Rendezvous with Berlinale Guests” event on Sunday evening (8.2.), the patron of the competition, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, together with Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, jury member Wim Wenders, and CEO of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg Kirsten Niehuus, handed the Berlin Today Award 2009 to this year’s winner. The sixth Berlin Today Award went to Supriyo Sen from India for his short film Wagah, the story of an extraordinary event that takes place at the only border crossing between India and Pakistan: Every evening thousands of cheering spectators gather to witness a patriotic parade for the ritual closing of the border (produced by DETAiLFILM). Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, reading from the jury’s statement, concluded that the film is “a convincing manifesto against any wall that divides people.” The documentary My Super Sea Wall, which shows the struggle for survival of 375 inhabitants on the Alaskan island Kivalina, received honorable mention (produced by Anna Wendt Filmproduktion). Director Gina Abatemarco manages “to tell a universal story in a nutshell, and very movingly so,” said Wim Wenders, who, together with directors Emily Atef and Andreas Dresen, made up this year’s Berlin Today Award jury. There will be a screening of the Berlin Today Award short films for the general public on “Berlinale Kinotag”, Sunday, February 15, in CinemaxX 6 at 4pm.

While the five short films head on their world tour – with screenings planned by the Goethe-Institut and Deutsche Welle as a broadcasting partner – the next round of the Berlin Today Award 2010 has already been launched. The competition seeks the five best short film ideas from Campus-participants on the theme “Straight to Cinema”. The five finalists will be announced at the end of the Berlinale 2009. They will realise their films in cooperation with production companies from the Berlin-Brandenburg region. More information and photos available at www.berlintoday.de.

The Berlinale Talent Campus 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 upon a decision of the German Bundestag, in co-operation with MEDIA - Training programme of the European Union, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Skillset and UK Film Council as well as Volkswagen.

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