Directors Mike Leigh, Istvan Szabo, and Stephen Daldry, actress Martina Gedeck and producer Bernd Eichinger are among 120 international experts speaking at the sixth Berlinale Talent Campus which be held between Feb 9-14.

This year, the Talent Campus will be cooperating with the Federal Foreign Office and the World Cinema Fund to launch a new initiative Focus Africa to take an in-depth look at contemporary filmmaking in Africa with such guests as Nigerian actress Kate Henshaw-Nuttall, Ghanaian-born documentary filmmaker John Akomfrah and Mauritania's Abderrahmane Ahmed Salem.

Music - one of the common threads running through this year's Berlinale and beginning with the festival's opening film Shine A Light with The Rolling Stones - will also be an important element in this year's Campus with a session on the influence of hip-hop on the film world.
Among the guests taking part in the discussion will be Ugandan filmmaker Donald Mugisha (whose film Divizionz is screening in the Forum), Senegalese hip-hop fillmmaker Fatoumata Kande Senghor, and Kevin Fitzgerald, founder of the Los Angeles Hip Hop Film Festival.

Speaking to, the Talent Campus director Dorothee Wenner added that the programme of discussions, lectures, and workshops will also feature such panellists as Stephen Frears, Sandrine Bonnaire, set designer Alex McDowell, Dusan Makavajev, and Josef Fares.

Moreover, the Oscar-winning Argentine musician Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain) will serve as the mentor for the three finalists of the Volkswagen Score Competition as they compose new soundtracks for pre-selected film excerpts and have their arrangements recorded by the Babelsberg Film Orchestra and mixed at the Academy for Film & Television (HFF) in Babelsberg during the Campus week.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Wenner revealed that the Berlin event will be supporting the staging of a 'visionary campus' at Mexico's Guadalajara Film Festival (March 7-14). 'There will be a small number of panels with a focus on documentaries and the event is intended as preparation for a fully-fledged Talent Campus from next year,' she said.

Also, 2008 will also see Talent Campuses being held at the festivals in Buenos Aires and Sarajevo, while a South African version will be held in future at the Durban International Film Festival.

This year, 3,304 emerging talents from 120 countries applied for one of the 350 places at Berlin's winter academy being held under the motto of 'Screening Emotions - Cinema's Finest Asset'. Applications were received for the first time from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam.