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Harry Belafonte encourages young filmmakers at talent campus

posted 18 Feb 2011, 12:24 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 18 Feb 2011, 12:26 ]

The Berlin Film Festival not only features established artists but also tries to promote and support young film makers and artists with seminars and discussions at its 'Talent Campus.' The effort is supported by artists like Harry Belafonte.

Legendary US-American singer, actor and human rights activist Harry Belafonte was among the Campus' star guests for an "In the Limelight" session. Belafonte talked to young artists about his recording career and his cinematic work for directors like Preminger, Wise or Altman, and also about his unrelenting commitment to humanitarian issues and his active involvement in human rights advocacy. During his almost two-hour long session with young film makers, actors and writers from around the world, Belafonte reminded his young listeners of a decision they had to take before 'making it big.' "I think when good pushes evil, it is a moral force that drives us to find the best in us. Art is the instrument for moral thought, is the instrument for interpreting moral definition, interpreting moral choice," Belafonte said. "I would hope that the generations that come will understand this and see the power of art that is liberated and is out in the service of social development. And not just tried to entertain. It's such a silly concept."

Director Susanne Rostock's inspiring documentary about the life and times of Harry Belafonte, 'Sing Your Song', was presented in Berlinale Special. Visitors of the question and answer session with Belafonte were deeply impressed: "It's very very important to talk about artists and engagement, social and political engagement," said actress Anna Daria von Than. "So for me it was brilliant, it was really fantastic. I loved it. And he is such a humanist, has such a big heart, and is really communication, and he is so humble with all what he went through and it's a big moment." And her friend and colleague Ulrike Mahr said: "That was striking me or touching me when he talked about the art: 'Do you want to do the art to be famous or in a profound way.' And yeah, so that's a lot of inspiration and motivation to go on."

Two other 'In the Limelight' sessions included one with this year's Berlinale jury president Isabella Rossellini and another with Hungarian filmmaker István Szabó and British director and actor Ralph Fiennes, who presented his directing debut 'Coriolanus' in Berlinale competition. Both filmmakers gave insights into the mutual commitment between directors and actors during challenging projects.