In its 10th anniversary achtung berlin – new berlin film award has grown into a place for networking and mingling with the Berlin-Brandenburg film industry. Attending last edition’s opening night, we experienced first hand why this festival is so popular for filmmakers. ‘It is very hard to get your first film financed and this is a good platform to show your film and meet the right people for business,’ endorsed Aron Lehmann, director of the opening film that night. The award money of about 25,000 Euro is not too shabby either. As achtung berlin is currtenly open for submission through FilmFestivalLife we had a look at the festival’s side and talked with Festival Director Sebastian Brose. Find out, why you should think local and submit your Berlin-Brandenburg film to achtung berlin.
DEADLINE • 08 January 2014
Our focus is on young German cinema from Berlin and Brandenburg. That formally means that films must have been produced with participation of a Berlin-Brandenburg-based company, shot on location in the region of Berlin-Brandenburg or directed by Berlin-Brandenburg-based director or producer. We already have a couple of films submitted who don’t fit in these categories. It’s sad but we cannot select them, so please read the rules!
For us young German cinema is not static in one genre – from arthouse, comedy, thriller to drama and feel-good-movies. We are showing the whole range, the whole variety of productions. But we have a special emphasis for realistic narrative style. These are the films we are looking for! We also love to show something new, some new forms of production or storytelling. For us it is important that the filmmakers have something to tell and maybe are breaking from the expected viewing.
2. Local networks can support your film
When we started the idea 12 years ago, we noticed that there was no platform for Berlin-Brandenburg films to network and communicate. The Berlinale was always very international. For the films produced in Berlin-Brandenburg there was really no room. Berlin-Brandenburg is one of the biggest places for film and TV in Germany, that should be showcased with an event. Of course you can see a few Berlin films at the Berlinale, but we wanted a forum for only Berlin-Brandenburg films to reflect the whole creative pool of the region.
In Germany we have a lot of film productions and the big national festivals cannot portray the whole variety Germany has to offer. It is on us to show the bigger picture. We are very unique in what we do. Usually you have only one section of a festival for the region, like Hamburg films at the Hamburg Film Festival. There is not a comparable festival that has this radical main focus on regional films like we have, even internationally. But this idea of a city or a region in the main centre has been well received, people from around the world are enthusiastic and love the idea.
3. Local festivals can reach out internationally
We were in Israel this year with a selection of our 2013 program, and also previously in Moscow. The Berlin hype is everywhere, that‘s why everybody wants to watch films that are playing on Berlin‘s streets. We are now in conversation with Madrid, they are more crazy about Berlin than Barcelona! So if you submit your film to achtung berlin, it might not be the only place where your film could screened.
We always try to find multiple distribution avenues for our films after the festival. We have an international VOD cooperation with Realeyz.tv for example. We want to offer more than just a festival screening to the films we select. We want to insure that our films spread even further. Of course we ask the filmmakers permission when moving forward.
4. Local festivals champion digital progression
FilmFestivalLife is of course a much faster way to submit to achtung berlin and it is also a much easier and faster way for us to look through the submissions. The future is simply digital and someday there will be no DVD’s anymore, everything will be virtual. For us it is especially great, because we can reach the films faster, we can react immediately and our feedback can be way quicker for the filmmakers.
Festival Director Sebastian Brose, achtung berlin – new berlin film award
April 09 – 16, 2014
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Late Deadline • 08 January 2014
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