The third edition of the Berlinale's Talent Campus hasreceived 2,500 applications for the 500 places available at the event (Feb12-17) during next year's film festival.

While the number of countries sending entries increased from101 to 104, the total number of entries was more than 25% less than last year's3,500. (The first year had seen 2,000 budding filmmakers applying from 70countries).

Speaking to, Talent Campus project manager Christine Dorn, however, pointed outthat there had also been 611 applications for the "Shoot Goals! ShootMovies" short film competition. 35-40 of these shorts on the theme offootball will be premiered during the Berlinale next February with thefilmmakers invited to participate in the 2005 Talent Campus and return toGermany for a week during the FIFA World Cup in 2006 as part of thechampionship's official cultural programme.

"We noticed that therewere substantially fewer applications to the Talent Campus from Germany (288compared to 2003's 630), the UK (250/376) and the USA (226/363)," Dornexplained. "Evidently, many film students from these countries decided notto apply again after not being selected for the previous two Campuses. It hadalways been difficult making the selection from Germany's 600-odd applications,for example, but the overall quality will now benefit."

According to Dorn, there were "significantly more"entries this time around from countries like Argentina (+31), India and Brazil(+15) and Nigeria and Peru (+14): "the Talent Campus initiatives abroad atthe Cinefan Film Festival in New Dehli, the Sithengi Film & TelevisionMarket and planned for next April in Buenos Aires are paying off. The Campus isperceived as an international network and has become established."

Moreover, Dorn revealed that several of the Talent Campusalumni from the first two editions have submitted features, documentaries orshorts for selection to one of the programme sections at next year's Berlinale.

In addition, the Talent Campus organisers have calculated fromthe feedback on the 2003 and 2004 events that 98% of the talents are stillworking in films, over 88% are still in touch with one another, and 57% havealready worked together or are planning to do in the future.

For example, 2004 talent Mexican director Carolina Rivas isworking with Palestinian filmmaker Ihab Salti on Qalqilya, a documentary about Palestine children, while UKcomposer and sound designer Christopher Slaski has written the scores for anumber of Spanish shorts thanks to contacts made during the Campus lastFebruary.

Among past talents making their mark in the internationalfilm industry are Argentina's Daniel Rosenfeld whose feature The Chimera OfHeroes won two awards in Venice in 2003; USwriter-director Sarah Knight who is in production on Wallflowering with Christopher Lloyd and Christine Lahti in thecast; UK writer-director Kara Miller whose Campus application script ElephantPalm Tree was selected for the London FilmFestival; and Italian producer Federico Demontis who has recently published astudy arguing the case for public support of the audiovisual industry inSardinia.