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December 2021


The German Films team is mourning the passing of its former employee Julia Basler-Hesse, who died unexpectedly in Munich on December 8, 2021. She was responsible for the Festivals of German Films in Rome, London, Paris and Madrid as a project manager from 1999 - 2005 and then took over the area of documentaries until 2017. We remember her fondly as a colleague who impressed us with her empathetic aura, her authoritative and calm manner and her passionate commitment - and by her integrity. She had a particularly weak spot for documentaries - and many in the film industry will have fond memories of her competent consultations which often also required a lot of patience. A high degree of empathy and open-mindedness characterised her work and her dealings with colleagues - combined with a dash of humour.

Dear Julia - we’ll miss you dearly and hope you are now in a peaceful place. Our thoughts are also with Your family who meant so much to you.


The Sundance Film Festival played host to the world premiere of Ronny Trocker’s HUMAN FACTORS and saw the short film BAMBIRAK by Hamburg-based cinematographer, director and writer Zamarin Wahdat being presented with the “Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction”. Meanwhile, the Berlinale’s activities were affected by the ongoing pandemic, with its programme for the general public then being moved without further ado to new dates in the summer. A large number of premieres of German films were nevertheless shown, including FABIAN - GOING TO THE DOGS by Dominik Graf, I’M YOUR MAN by Maria Schrader, the documentary MR BACHMANN AND HIS CLASS by Maria Speth, NEXT DOOR by Daniel Brühl or WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY? by Alexandre Koberidze. Awards in various categories were presented to Maria Speth and Maren Eggert (for her role in I’M YOUR MAN).

The Berlinale also served as the launchpad for the FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMS campaign which had representatives of other crafts such as costume design, storyboarding and cinematography selected for the first time in 2021 in addition to showcasing actors and directors. The eight filmmakers - composer Freya Arde, costume designer Ulé Barcelos, director Sarah Blaßkiewitz, actress Tua El-Fawwal, director Annekatrin Hendel, actress Lorna Ishema, storyboard artist Laila Petersen-Jama and cinematographer Jieun Yi - visited various international events and virtual panels throughout the year as campaign ambassadors to speak about their work and German films.

The line-up of this year’s Festival de Cannes included numerous co-productions with German participation such as COMPARTMENT NO. 6 by Juho Kuosmanen, the opening film ANNETTE by Leos Carax, MEMORIA by Apichatpong Weerasethakul or GREAT FREEDOM by Sebastian Meise, all of them winning awards on the Croisette. As was the case with Cannes, the international film festivals in Locarno and Karlovy Vary were fortunately also able to be held on-site and with audiences. Many German productions were successfully invited to screen in their programmes: in Locarno, for example, the actress Saskia Rosendahl won an award for her performance in Sabrina Sarabi's NO ONE’S WITH THE CALVES, while Dietrich Brüggemann's drama about relationships  received the Best Director award in Karlovy Vary. After screenings of German films and co-productions in Venice, Toronto, Busan or Warsaw, the prizes kept coming thick and fast again at Tallinn Black Nights in November: DEAR THOMAS by Andreas Kleinert was named Best Film, while Francesco Sossai and Florian Hoffmann each went home with awards for their films: Best Debut Feature Film for Sossai’s ALTRI CANNIBALI - OTHER CANNIBALS and the Audience Award for Hoffmann’s WHISPERS OF WAR.

The Festivals of German Films in AustraliaMadridRomeBuenos AiresParisBeijing and Moscow were able to be held as offline events in line with the hygiene measures in force, although, in some cases, they also had to comply with one or the other minor pandemic-related restriction. All of the events clearly showed how delighted audiences were to be able at last to watch films again on the big screen in a live setting. In Moscow, 30% more tickets were sold compared to 2020. In fact, quite a few screenings were sell-outs, especially when the filmmakers could be there in person to present their works.

There had been a small fall in the number of applications for Distribution Support in the first half of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the number of applications increased exorbitantly in the second half of the year so that the total number for 2021 is almost equal to previous years. This year saw the German Films Previews - where international film buyers are invited to Germany for several days to screen new German feature films -  being held in Munich again as a physical event.

German short films can look back on a successful year internationally as they featured in numerous leading festival line-ups, such as SundanceClermont-Ferrand, the BerlinaleMoscowCannesLocarno and Torino. A large number of awards went to German short film productions such as GOOD GERMAN WORK by Jannis Alexander Kiefer, which was one of the most successful German shorts of the year in terms of festival invitations. Alexandra Odić received two awards for her short fiction film FRIDA in the Cinéfondation’s film school competition at the Festival de Cannes. The FFA and German Films’ NEXT GENERATION SHORT TIGER talent programme was presented at Filmfest Dresden in July for the first time with a very positive response, and Jerry Hoffmann was selected for EFP’s Future Frames talent programme at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival with his graduation film I AM. Six German student films were among the finalists for the Student Academy Awards in 2021, with TALA'VISION by Murad Abu Eisheh (Gold) and ADISA by Simon Denda (Silver) going on to win two awards.

German animated films also continued to set international standards: in total, four animated films were among the 10 most successful majority German productions. The top five global box-office hits for the first half of 2021 included DRAGON RIDEROOOPS! 2 - THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES, which was also the year's highest-grossing film abroad with 465,652 admissions, and MAYA THE BEE 3 - THE GOLDEN ORB. The trend of recent years continued in 2021: German animation has been firmly established as a top export and accounts for over half of the international box-office takings of majority German productions.

German Films was also busy in the steadily growing TV and series market during 2021 promoting German productions and talent around the globe. For example, industry professionals and the general public alike were wowed by the German Focus at the largest international series festival Series Mania in August. Several new German series were presented during the pitch event COMING NEXT FROM GERMANY, in some instances by the creators themselves. In addition, six German filmmakers (including our FACE TO FACE talents Sarah Blaßkiewitz, Lorna Ishema and Tua El-Fawwal) went down a storm with the audience at the live panel FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMMAKERS: SERIOUS ABOUT SERIES.

Simone Baumann, Managing Director of German Films: "We are pleased that, thanks to strong cooperation partners and excellent productions, we were also able to draw the international film industry’s attention to the German film scene in this second year of the pandemic and support German filmmakers on their journey.”


Julius Nitschkoff was born in Berlin in 1995 and had already started taking acting lessons when he was a teenager. In 2015, he had his first lead role in the film AS WE WERE DREAMING by Andreas Dresen. Many other roles followed, including in the series PERFUME, which was based on the bestselling novel by Patrick Süskind, as well as lead roles in the feature film BULLDOG by André Szardenings and TOUBAB by Florian Dietrich, which was released in German cinemas in September 2021. His performance in TOUBAB earned Julius the Bavarian Film Award for Best Newcomer, among others.

In the interview, we talk to Julius about philosophy, why he uses knives for more than just cooking, and what drives him in life. Listening to this podcast is sure to put you into a good mood!

Curious? All of the episodes are available on our website and wherever you access podcasts.

Information about new episodes and guests will be posted regularly on the SHORT TAKE Instagram channel:


German Films wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We hope you will also want to continue following us and our activities in 2022.


CEE Animation Forum 2022: Open Call
CEE Animation Forum is one of the top events when it comes to pitching, financing and co-production in Central and Eastern Europe. Applicants can submit their animation projects in five categories -  feature films, series/TV specials, short films, student films and XR projects - for the 10th edition. The CEE Animation Forum seeks to promote the international potential of the submitted projects, their visibility and their access to a wider European market. The anniversary event will take place from May 10-12 in Liberec, Czech Republic, in a hybrid format.

The deadline for submissions is January 16, 2022.

More information is available here:


International screenwriters still have until January 3, 2022 to apply to participate in the Toronto International Film Festival's Writers' Studio programme. The lab and mentoring programme will take place from March 21-25, 2022. Writers can apply with their current feature-length film project if they have already written at least one feature film or TV series.

For detailed information about the programme and how to apply, please visit


After five months of postponement, the Sydney Film Festival was finally able to show its line-up in the cinemas from November 3 to 14. This included EFP’s EUROPE! Voices of Women in Film programme which was also available online along with other selected titles from the festival. Taken together, the programme's physical and digital screenings were a complete success, posting over 4,400 admissions in spite of the necessary pandemic restrictions in the cinemas such as mandatory vaccination. This year's selection also featured the German director Eline Gehring with her film NICO. The filmmakers were able to take part in various virtual events, press activities and networking events.

More information about European Film Promotion’s initiative EUROPE! Voices of Women in Film is available here:


The filmmakers Paulina Lorenz and Faraz Shariat have been awarded the Villa Aurora Fellowship, funded by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, for a three-month stay at the artist residency in Los Angeles. "In 2020, Paulina Lorenz and Faraz Shariat and their collective "Jünglinge" surprised everyone with the playful queer, post-migrant coming-of-age drama NO HARD FEELINGS, and set fresh impulses in the German film landscape," the jury said. At Villa Aurora, the two will now have time to work on developing their second feature film project IMPERIAL PALACE which is set in the horror genre.


The Les Arcs Industry Village is held each year as part of the Les Arcs Film Festival: a three-day event combining the Co-Production Village, Talent Village and Music Village. The project MARRIAGE BY ABDUCTION by the German participant Sophia Mocorrea won an award at this year's Talent Village programme. Mocorrea, who is studying at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, won against competition from seven other first-time projects currently in development. Among other things, the jury praised the cinematic quality and the ability to address the implication of cross-cultural relationships. The hunt is now on to find the right production company to produce MARRIAGE BY ABDUCTION.

More about the Talent Village Award and the winning project:


The 34th European Film Awards were presented in Berlin on December 11. Two co-productions with German participation won several awards: Jasmila Žbanić's drama QUO VADIS, AIDA? was named Best European Film and Best Director by the jury. Lead actress Jasna Đuričić received the award for Best Actress. GREAT FREEDOM by Sebastian Meise, a co-production between Germany and Austria, was also one of the big winners of the evening. Both the award for Best Cinematography and the award for Best Score went to the drama starring Franz Rogowski.

More information about the winners is available here:


The film WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY? by Alexandre Koberidze won the special jury prize "Premio Astor Pianola" in the International Competition of the 36th Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata in November. A film with German participation also appeared in the hybrid market of Ventana Sur in Buenos Aires (29.11. to 04.12.2021). The event is organised annually by Cannes’ Marché du Film and Argentina's national film association INCAA. This year’s event presented more than 50 projects in sections dedicated to works-in-progress, pitching sessions and animation. The project with German participation CONDENADITOS (CURSED CHILDREN) by director Matisse González and producers Yashira Jordán (Celeste Estudio) and Stefan Michel (Studio Seufz) was selected for the "Pitch Mentoring Program for Female Directors" in the Feature Film category. The filmmakers presented their projects after training sessions with international experts focusing on production, screenplay and pitching projects.

More information about the Ventana Sur programme for animation projects is available at:


German films and co-productions at Les ArcsGuanajuatoBogotáPalm SpringsSundance and Slamdance.


Awards for German films and co-productions at Torino and Florence.


I WAS AT HOME, BUT ... in France (Distributor: Shellac Films, World Sales: Deutsche Kinemathek, Theatrical Release: 05 January 2022)
THE COLLINI CASE in France (Distributor: ARP, World Sales: Global Screen, Theatrical Release: 05 January 2022)
THE LAST EXECUTION in Spain (Distributor: Adso International Management, World Sales: Global Screen, Theatrical Release: 05 January 2022)
NEXT DOOR in Taiwan (Distributor: Benchmark Films, World Sales: Beta Cinema, Theatrical Release: 07 January 2022)
GERMAN LESSON in France (Distributor: Wildbunch, World Sales: The Playmaker Munich, Theatrical Release: 12 January 2022)
MONSTER FAMILY 2 in Czech Republic (Distributor: AQS, World Sales: United Entertainment, Theatrical Release: 13 January 2022)
MAYA THE BEE 3: THE GOLDEN ORB in Bosnia + Herzegovina (Distributor: Blitz F.V.D., World Sales: Studio 100, Theatrical Release: 13 January 2022)
MAYA THE BEE 3: THE GOLDEN ORB in Croatia (Distributor: Blitz d.o.o., World Sales: Studio 100, Theatrical Release: 13 January 2022)
THE AUDITION in Brasil (Distributor: CSF Distribuidora & Streaming, World Sales: Les Films du Losagne, Theatrical Release: 13 January 2022)
DEAR FUTURE CHILDREN in Austria (Distributor: Stadtkino Filmverleih, World Sales: Magnetfilm, Theatrical Release: 14 January 2022)
FABIAN: GOING TO THE DOGS in Denmark (Distributor: Another World Entertainment, World Sales: Les Films du Losagne, Theatrical Release: 20 January 2022)
MAYA THE BEE 3: THE GOLDEN ORB in Serbia (Distributor: Blitz Film & Video Distribucija, World Sales: Studio 100, Theatrical Release: 20 January 2022)
FABIAN: GOING TO THE DOGS in Brasil (Distributor: Zeta Films, World Sales: Les Films du Losagne, Theatrical Release: 27 January 2022)
LATTE IGEL AND THE MAGIC WATERSTONE in Portugal (Distributor: Outsider Films, World Sales: Sola Media, Theatrical Release: 27 January 2022)
MONSTER FAMILY 2 in Bosnia + Herzegovina (Distributor: Blitz F.V.D., World Sales: United Entertainment, Theatrical Release: 27 January 2022)
MONSTER FAMILY 2 in Croatia (Distributor: Blitz d.o.o., World Sales: United Entertainment, Theatrical Release: 27 January 2022)

Status: Newsletter publication date. Please be aware that all release dates are subject to change.


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