Cutting Edge Talent Camp


The Cutting Edge Talent Camp is a 10-day workshop right before and during the International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg for a new generation of filmmakers. Selected talents from film schools in Germany get professional guidance to make their first steps towards international networking, recognition and production.

Among last year’s participants, Hannes Hirsch was selected for the Panorama section of the Berlinale for his feature film ›Drifter‹ and won the First Steps Award, while ›Mannequins (WT)‹, produced by Virginia Martin, was presented in the WIP Europa section at San Sebastián and won two awards after the film was shot in 2023. Benjamin Pfohl’s ›Jupiter‹ premiered at the Zurich Film Festival. Among earlier groups of participants whose films also premiered this year, Sara Summa’s ›Arthur & Diana‹ was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, as was Anna Roller’s ›Dead Girls Dancing‹ at the Tribeca Film Festival. Dieu Hao Do won the First Steps Award for his documentary ›Hao Are You?‹.

Some of the talents invited this year can already boast some success. Nadine Schwitter’s short ›und alles fällt‹ was screened at the Locarno Film Festival, Aliaksei Paluyan’s documentary debut ›Courage‹ was shown at the Berlinale, Lotta Schmelzer produced shorts premiering at Tribeca and the Berlinale, and Franziska Gärtner produced ›Nocturnal Breath‹, which premiered at SXSW. Lukas Nathrath’s first feature film, ›Last Evening‹, premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam this year.

The Talent Camp is supported by MFG Baden Württemberg, BKM and VG Bild-Kunst and takes place in collaboration with Next Mannheim and the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg.

Talents 2023


  • Aliaksei Paluyan, Kunsthochschule Kassel
  • Nadine Schwitter, Academy of Media Arts Cologne
  • Lukas Nathrath, Hamburg Media School
  • Salka Tiziana, Hamburg Academy of Fine Arts


  • Marisa Meier, Film Academy Baden-Württemberg
  • Sebastian Herbst, Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf
  • Vera Paulmann, Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris
  • Lotta Schmelzer, Film Academy Baden-Württemberg

Works in Progress

  • Lotte Ruf, Frithjof Stückemann // Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf
  • Daniel Ruprech, Adriano Theill // German Film and Television Academy Berlin
  • Florian Schmitz, Till Gombert // Academy of Media Arts Cologne
  • Clara Stella Hüneke, Franziska Gärtner // Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris
  • The hybrid program includes different sessions with international experts and will take place online from November 10 to 15 and on-site in Mannheim from November 16 to 19:
  • Pitch-training
  • Coaching
  • Masterclass »Festival strategies«
  • Group sessions
  • Development, co-production labs
  • Round table discussions
  • Workshops on international strategy, development, co-production and marketing
  • Work in Progress
  • Screenings
  • Networking