François Ozon received this year’s Film Award Cologne, and we showed a retrospective as well as his new work “Dans la maison”. In this workshop talk he spoke about his love for the theater, the fine line between art and artificiality and about working with the grande dames of French cinema.

British born Michael Winterbottom is a man of many faces. First of all he is the world cinema’s chameleon: from lesbian road movie, sci-fi love story, concert film porn, fugitive drama, winter Western, music mockumentary, costume drama, war film, documentary to improvised TV series – the man has done it all. He’s also a world traveller, with his films taking place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Italy, Sweden, the UK, India, Bosnia or the US. He also is one of the busiest workhorses in the business, with 17 films in 15 years already making a seasoned veteran at the tender age of 51 – and a unique voice in world cinema. His new film TRISHNA, an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel »Tess« as an Indian drama of class and gender, has been screened at this year’s Cologne Conference. In this workshop talk, moderated by Christian Munder, Michael Winterbottom talked about the constant re-invention of his style, about shooting films in exotic locations and about improvisation, fiction and reality.

For Karl Baumgartner, making films is a matter of trust and love. He co-founded the production company Pandora, which this year had its 30th anniversary, and in this time Baumgartner did not only work closely with indie icons like Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki or Emir Kusturica – ha also became friends with them. As a distributor as well as a producer he always had an uncanny ability to spot the coming festival winner or unexpected audience darling, from MOSTLY MARTHA or THE PIANO to WHALE RIDER. Some year he had three Palms d’Or, in others his film shoot was swept away by storms and civil wars – in 30 years, Karl Baumgartner has seen everything there is to see in this business. In this workshop talk the recipient of this year’s The Hollywood Reporter Award talked about the art of recognising the up-and-coming master filmmaker, his encounter with Andrej Tarkovskij, and the new films by Leos Carax, Fatih Akin and Ari Folman.

Casting Agent Daniela Tolkien, who in the last year contributed to Film and TV productions like WICKIE AUF GROßER FAHRT, OFFROAD, DAS HAUS DER KROKODILE and POLIZEIRUF 110: DENN SIE WISSEN NICHT, WAS SIE TUN with her idiosyncratic and successful decisions, is this year’s recipient of the Casting Award at the Cologne Conference. With her keen sense for promising newcomers and her original view towards the range of established actors the casting agent, who was once an actress herself, has surprised everyone time and again with the casts she assembled, be it for action comedies, family adventures, crime series or a live action movie based on a cult animation series. In this workshop talk Daniel Tolkien talked about the secrets a successful children and youth casting, how to cast German actors for non-German roles and where to find actors who resemble vikings from children’s animation. The talk has been moderated by Julia Beerhold, board member of the Federal Association of film and TV-actors (BFFS).