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Find the independent animation artists present at this year's Berlinale Talents.

Berlinale Talents - the festival’s creative hub with talks and workshops for film lovers and invited Talents from around the world (February 22-27) - has announced its selection of 255 Talents from across the industries and from around 86 countries.

Now in its 18th edition, Berlinale Talents stands once again for sustainable promotion and exchange amongst different disciplines across the worlds of film, series, theatre, art and industry. 

13 animation directors find themselves in the line-up, and will bring  with them some film projects in development to be finessed in labs and presentations.

Here they are:

· Jonatan Schwenk, “Sog” (winner of the Cristal as Best Graduation Film in Annecy, winner of the European Animation Award at the Encounters Festival, Best Student Film at the ITFS Stuttgart and much more; screened at 124 festivals) as well as Sound Design for Räuber und Gendarm, Rules of Play (from Germany); working as a hybrid filmmaker often combining stop-motion, 2D as well as 3D, currently on his graduation film

· Nara Normande, Brazilian director living in France – realized “Guaxuma”, an intimate anidoc about friendship which combines different animation techniques all connected with sand, which screened internationally, winning more than 60 awards including SXSW and Palms Springs (the film was produced by Justin Pechberty, a Berlinale Talents alumnus, whose credits include “Wicked Girl”)

· Esther Niemeier, director of the ani-doc “Tracing Addai” (2D rotoscope animation) about two German adolescents joining the Jihad in Syria (screened at 70 film festivals, has won 20 awards including “Best Short Award” at the Oscar qualifying Docaviv, Best Animation at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and was a finalist for the 2018 Student Academy Awards), currently working on a hybrid documentary about her grandmother who was killed in the Third Reich for her outspokenness; from Germany

· Martin Smatana (FAMU graduate), directed the award-winning puppet animation “The Kite” (including awards: “Young Audience Award” in Annecy; “Best Short Film For Children” at the ITFS Stuttgart, “Best Children’s Short Film” at Anima Mundi) as well as his debut “Rosso Papavero” (premiered at Berlinale 2015 Generation Kplus and won 13 international awards), currently working on yet another animated short for children “Hello Summer” (stop motion object animation and hand drawn animation), with which he was selected for the European Further Education Program “Animation Sans Frontiéres”.

· Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis, whose experimental, hybrid work encompasses films such as the hybrid doc Swatted about online players and the fear of life-threatening cyber-harassment phenomenon which picked up several awards including Special Jury Award in the category “Labo” at Clermond-Ferrand, or “Ondes Noires” about three hyper-sensitive people; his editor on both films, Celine Perreard, is also part of Berlinale Talents 2020

· Josephine Lohoar Self, a dedicated stop-motion animator, whose “The Fabric of You” was nominated for a Scottish Bafta; her further credits include “Superfrog”, a film based on a Murakami-story

· Shirley Bruno, whose “An Excavation of Us” (2D+3D compositing animation) won her the Off-limits-award in Annecy and an honourable mention at the “Prix Ars Electronica” among others; (further films: Tezen, The Things I see), drawing from her Haitian heritage she expresses herself in a unique manner; from the US; also on board is Alexandru Petru Bădeliţă, who edited “An Excavation of Us” and also works as a director, for example on “I Made You, I Kill You”, an autobiographical anidoc about complicated, violent family dynamics that was screened at IDFA and won several awards for its experimental style

· Martin Juza, producer and director; co-founded animation studio and film production company Krutart; he produced “Kosmix”,a Czech animated series for kids, which revolves around a robot and his adventures in space, which will be broadcast in 2020

· Sarah D’hanens, she produces documentaries as well as animation films such as Jacky de Groen’s “Spermaceti” (drawing, painting, 2D computer) and Robbe Vervaeke’s “Fighting Pablo” (oil on glass animation), from Belgium

· Thomas Kunstler, stop-motion animator, currently working on a feature film project (“Rebetiko”, “De Los Kouventa“); clay puppet animation; from Greece

· Hannah Dougherty, director for anidocs and animated fiction (“Theo and Celeste” – made for TedX 2018, the upcoming web series Broken: A Sockumentary as well as further animated web series) from Australia

· Laura Espinel, editor as well as director, directed “Kosmiska Katter” (Objects, Mixed Media, Collage; shown in Leipzig), currently developing a film as part of the HERSTORIES seminar in Berlin-Babelsberg, from Colombia

In addition, further Talents occasionally venture into the realm of animation – among them Chris Hees, who produced the BAFTA- and Annecy-winning short “The Bigger Picture”.

The Summit programme of Berlinale Talents comprises a wide range of talks, panel discussions, workshops, case studies and screenings of select alumni films at the three venues of the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatre.

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