FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMS - Meet the talents of 2024
German Films is proud to present this year’s selection of outstanding talents from the German film landscape to the international film industry at the Berlinale.
FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMS 2024 – THE FILMMAKERS features seven unique, impressive, and diverse personalities, each of whom has found a very personal and interesting path into the film industry. In a multifaceted way, they all illustrate how colourful and varied work and creativity in the film industry can be.
The FACES 2024 represent the excellent reputation that German film and series productions enjoy internationally, and they are eager to present their work at festivals around the world. This year’s selection ranges from actor Jan Bülow, writer-director Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay, and actor Banafshe Hourmazdi, through writer-director Moritz Müller-Preißer and production designer Mona Cathleen Otterbach to writer-directors Eva Trobisch and Soleen Yusef.
They are following in the footsteps of such respected filmmakers as internationally renowned stars Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Burhan Qurbani, Saskia Rosendahl, Alexander Fehling, Julia Jentsch, Jonas Nay, Jannis Niewöhner or Sara Fazilat, who were all part of the campaign since it launched in 2016.
“We at German Films see it as our task to support upcoming talents from the German film industry and to accompany them on their way to becoming successful filmmakers,” Simone Baumann, Managing Director of German Films, explains. “It is particularly important to us to show that the film industry is incredibly diverse and that we have fantastic talents in a wide variety of trades here in Germany. We are proud to present seven filmmakers as ambassadors for our campaign this year with diverse CVs and professional backgrounds symbolising creativity in the film industry.”
Meet the FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMS talents 2024:
Actor Jan Bülow was born in Berlin in 1996. In LINDENBERG! MACH DEIN DING by Hermine Huntgeburth, a biopic about the young Udo Lindenberg, Jan played the lead role, singing several songs of the famous German singer himself. His performance won him the Bavarian Film Award for Best Young Actor in 2020, and the role also earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the German Film Awards, also known as the Lolas. Jan also played the lead role in THE UNIVERSAL THEORY which was shown in the Official Competition at the Venice Biennale Film Festival in 2023. He recently filmed the series KAFKA by David Schalko (2023).
Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay (*1987) studied Media Arts at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. His graduation film not only received numerous international awards at prestigious festivals, but also won the Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale in 2019. In the following years, the film was released in cinemas in Germany, Turkey, and France. With his production company filmfaust, he has produced international and award-winning feature films and documentaries, such as Deren Ercenk’s BERZAH and Cem Kaya’s LOVE, DEUTSCHMARKS AND DEATH. Currently, projects like SIRENS CALL as well as IMMACULATA are currently nearing completion. Mehmet also wrote the screenplay, and produced and directed his upcoming project HYSTERIA, featuring Devrim Lingnau and Nicolette Krebitz.
Actress Banafshe Hourmazdi (*1990) studied Acting at the Academy of Performing Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg and completed a Master’s degree in Acting at Zurich University of the Arts. In 2015, she won the Newcomer Award of the City of Vienna for the production MEINE NASE LÄUFT. Her greatest successes include the feature film NO HARD FEELINGS (FUTUR DREI, 2020). In recent years, she has appeared in numerous TV productions, including MAPA (2019), the coming-of-age series LOVING HER (2021) and the dramedy series OH HELL (2021). Most recently, she worked on the feature film projects EIN FEST FÜRS LEBEN (2022) and TURNING TABLES (2023). She is also in the cast of Burhan Qurbani’s new film NO BEAST SO FIERCE, which is due to be released in 2024.
Writer-Director Moritz Müller-Preißer (*1991) studied Film Direction at the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF München). His focus is on human-centered, subcultural stories, outside of the norm. He is particularly interested in merging documentary and fiction layers. During his studies, Moritz was taught by such acclaimed filmmakers as Nurith Aviv, Werner Herzog, and Nicolas Humbert. He received many awards for his short documentary film HAEBERLI (2020); the film has been screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including being a finalist at the Student Oscars®. Both of his films WE ARE DATA (2018) and HAEBERLI (2020) also made it to the shortlist of the BAFTA Student Film Awards. In his latest film, the feature documentary GOD’S OTHER PLAN (2024), Moritz continues his exploration of sensitive narratives, this time focusing on a queer blended family in Utah/USA.
Mona Cathleen Otterbach (*1991) started her production design studies at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg in autumn 2014, graduating in spring 2017. Since then, she has been working as a freelance production designer and art director. She has become known through such feature films as SWEET DISASTER and FRANKY FIVE STAR, for which she was honoured with the special award for Best Production Design in the feature film category at the Filmz Festival Mainz in 2023. All of her projects have a connection with surreal worlds and deal playfully with reality. This is also the case with her new project MILK TEETH, which celebrates its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in January 2024. She is currently working on other feature films such as SEVEN DAYS OF FEBRUARY and DREI KAMERADINNEN, the latter being based on the book “Sisters in Arms” by Shida Bazyar.
Eva Trobisch (*1983) began studying direction at the University of Television and Film in Munich (HFF München) in 2009. In 2013, she attended the NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York to study Film Dramaturgy on a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation, and began a Master’s degree in Screenwriting at the London Film School in 2015. Her first feature film ALL GOOD (ALLES IST GUT) won Best Director, Best Acting and the FIPRESCI Award at the Munich Film Festival in 2018, celebrated its international premiere in Locarno where it was awarded Best Debut Film, received the Woman in Motion Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the German Film Critics’ Award. In 2020, Eva was appointed to the jury of the competition for the Berlinale’s Encounters sidebar. Her second feature film IVO will premiere at the A-list festival in Berlin in 2024. As a partner in Trimafilm, she is developing several films and is currently preparing her own third feature film ETWAS GANZ BESONDERES.
Writer and director Soleen Yusef (*1987) attended the Academy of Stage Arts, where she was trained as a singer and actor. In 2008, she started studying Feature Film Directing at the Baden-Wurttemberg Film Academy. Her short movie NOŞ [cheers to you], was shown in competition at several national and international film festivals. TRATTORIA, which she made in her third year, premiered at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. Soleen received the distinction of the Germany Scholarship in 2012 in recognition of her outstanding academic achievements. Since then, she has been working as a director on several national and international series productions. Among others, these have included SKYLINES for Netflix and DEUTSCHLAND 89 for Amazon Prime. In 2022, she worked as a lead director and writer on the miniseries SAM – A SAXON for Disney+. Soleen is currently fulfilling a dream with a very personal, first children’s movie called WINNERS, which will premiere in March 2024.
German Films will present this year’s seven FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMS talents in person as part of a panel event organised by German Films during the Berlinale on February 19, 2024.
Please note: If you are interested in the panel event and an interview with the talents of this year’s FACE TO FACE WITH GERMAN FILMS campaign during the Berlinale or if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the PR agency in charge, von der Kuhlen Kommunikation, Sven Adrian.
von der Kuhlen Kommunikation GmbH
phone: +49 89 9 54 59 56-15