The Berlinale Talent Campus (BTC) will making its last presentation of the Berlin Today Award (BTA) during the Campus‘ 10th anniversary edition next February.

The BTA finalists will be shown as world premieres at the Talent Campus opening ceremony on February 11, 2012, and the winner will be chosen by a jury of international industry figures and receive the award during a gala ceremony.

This year, 170 short film ideas had been submitted for the ninth round of Berlin Today Award short film competition. They were whittled down to 15 directors who were invited to the Berlinale last February to pitch their projects to selected producers from the Berlin region.

After the Berlinale, five finalists were selected to have their films produced in collaboration with Berlin-based companies and with support from the regional film fund Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

The films, which are currently being shot around the globe – from Israel to Nicaragua – and will be postproduced in Berlin and Brandenburg, are:

  • Anna Lily Amirpour’s mix of live action and stop motion animation A Little Suicide (US), produced by Ambrosia Film;
  • Madli Lääne’s documentary A Stands For ABC (Estonia), produced by DETAILFILM;
  • Rafael Balulu’s fantastic, naturalistic Batman At The Checkpoint (Israel), produced by Lichtblick Media;
  • Christopher Bisset’s Five Ways To Kill A Man (South Africa), produced by Filmgestalten;
  • David Lale’s documentary The White Lobster (UK) about cocaine being washed up on the shores of Nicaragua’s Mosquito Coast, produced by SLP Filmproduktion.

In another development, the Berlinale will now have another new screening venue – with seating for 900 - in the western half of the capital for its 2012 edition .

The Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Schaperstrasse near the Kurfürstendamm has now reopened after 18 months and €15m worth investment in a renovation and modernisation programme for the theatre’s technical facilities.

Germany’s State Minister of Culture Bernd Neumann spoke enthusiastically about this new Berlinale venue now that the Zoopalast will not be available for the festival again until 2013, due to major re-development of the area where the Berlinale had been based until 1999.

“As a cineaste, I am elated that, thanks to the renovation works, the Festspielhaus can also be used for cinema screenings,“ Neumann said. “The Berlinale will thus be enriched by a wonderful venue.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Berlin daily newspaper B.Z., Neumann threw his weight behind the move to extend Kosslick’s contract as Berlinale director past April 30, 2013.

“I am very much for [Kosslick staying on as director] and assume that his contract will be extended because I have complete confidence in the work of Dieter Kosslick,” Neumann declared. “When someone is as successful as he is, then one must be interested in him also continuing his work.”

Neumann is the chairman of the supervisory board of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH (KBB), a platform encompassing three Berlin cultural institutions - the Berliner Festspiele, the Berlinale and the House of World Cultures. The KBB is responsible for making the appointment of the Berlinale’s director.

Speaking to ScreenDaily before this year’s Berlinale, Kosslick was keeping his cards close to his chest: “It is not down to me, but my shareholders as to whether they let me continue. I haven’t really thought about it at the moment and will do that when it’s the right time, but there is a while to go yet.”