67th Berlinale Edition: Berlinale Talents

In honour of the 67th annual edition of the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the leading movie festivals in the world, Artconnect had the opportunity to attend two speeches part of the “Berlinale Talents” programme. 

“Naked Cinema: A Set Is a Safe Haven” on Wednesday night  and “Your Engagement Has Consequences” on the following day. Both panels were held in the beautiful Hebbel Am Ufer theater and included important guests such as British actor Timothy Spall, casting director Heidi Levitt and Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.

After few minutes sitting in the beautiful Art-deco wooden surrounding of the Hebbel Am Ufer theatre, simply called HAU and illuminated by soft vintage lights, the music finally announced the start of the first  panel.

Originally the discussion titled “Naked Cinema: A Set Is a Safe Haven” was supposed to be held by Sally Potter. The renowned British film director and screenwriter, who was unfortunately missing due to health issues, was the link between actor and frequent collaborator of hers Timothy Spall as well as Heidi Levitt, Potter’s casting director.

The panel was all along led by film historian Peter Cowie, who questioned the guests on their relationship with Mrs. Potter.

Both of them revealed how they reached such state of intimacy on stage by closely cooperating with her. Timothy Spall talked about a “rare reciprocity”; “You want to impress her through your acting and so does she while directing the film, a comfortable desire of getting involved into the character”, he eventually added: “I never felt more creative in my life than with Sally Potter”. Potter builds a collaboration between the performers and her, which gives the impression of a natural flow where each character is living its life in front of the camera.

On the second night, visual artist Olafur Eliasson spoke about the power of creativity, how an idea can be embodied and then how this body connects with the external world. “The power of creativity is how the idea interacts with the world. Which reaction it generates.” – O.Eliasson

The discussion was more abstract and somehow a little bit confusing, almost as if you started watching a movie mid-through;  the plot is interesting but you don’t really understand what it is about.

Eliasson explained some of his art works, which concerned world issues such as global-warming and immigration.As a sign of a protest, he brought to Paris pieces of melting ice coming from the Arctic for his “Ice Watch” project during the COP21 2015, the conference for the climate change. In 2012, Eliasson created in collaboration with engineer Frederik Ottense “Little Sun”, a small light in the shape of a sun working with solar panels on the back. The aim was to provide sustainable light and energy to people in need.

Overall the panels were exhaustive and interesting. Both of the talks were concluded with the participation of the public asking questions to the guests.

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