The state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, invited artists worldwide to create a German tradition for its national holiday - the Day of German Unity. The three best ideas received a trip to the Day of German Unity 2017, in addition to €5,000, €3,000, and €2,000 for first, second, and third place. Inspired to create a tradition that Germany can finally claim as their own, artists submitted over 230 unique entries. We got a chance to get to know Marco Cosentino, the third place Selected Artist for this Creative Invite. Check out our exclusive interview with Marco and his brilliant idea of  the “Pretzel Hug” for German Unity Day.

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TH: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do?
I live in London with my wife and 3 children. I am currently working in the administration office of a Film School, but I am an aspiring filmmaker so, whenever I have some free time, I work on short films and animated projects.

TH: How did you come up with your concept for “Pretzel Hug”?
MC: I started thinking about what is typically recognizable as German (beer, bratwurst, the coloured flag, etc.) and, of course, the pretzel came up. Its shape reminded me of crossing arms. That’s when I thought of a special greeting between people that, not only could resemble the shape of a pretzel, but also represented a connection and unification of people celebrating Germany. Moreover, it is a ritual that everybody everywhere can do fairly easily and, with little effort.

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TH: Can you tell us a bit about your experience at the German Unity Day Festival?
MC: Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I could not visit Mainz for the festival. I was disappointed since I would have greatly enjoyed the experience. I have visited Germany a few times before and I am familiar with the North Rhine-Westphalia region and the warmth and welcoming attitude of Germans.

TH: If you could have an hour to talk with anyone from the past, who would that be?
MC: I would like to talk to Leonardo Da Vinci and get a glimpse of how his revolutionary mind worked.

TH: Favorite artist of all time?
MC: I don’t have one person in mind, but I appreciate traits from different artists: Freddy Mercury’s passion and originality, Stanley Kubrick’s obsessiveness and craft, and Beethoven’s energy.

TH: Do you have any projects you are currently working on, or planning on doing?
MC: There are a few. I am continuing to make little short films with my children (previous ones are posted on my Talenthouse page). I am currently editing one using a mix of live action and animation and starring my 5-month-old son as a cowboy. I am also writing and animated comedy webseries set in a dingy fast-food restaurant chain located on an asteroid. I have another couple of ideas for short stories I want to develop as animated shorts, since I think it’s the most affordable way to do science-fiction on a budget. I am reaching myself how to animate and how to do graphic work. I am participating in many other Talenthouse Creative Invites in order to improve my graphic art abilities. I am also submitting pitches and idea concepts for competitions (I have recently won one for a LEGO video series).

Find out more about Marco Cosentino on Talenthouse, Twitter and Instagram.