DFFB looks back on an exciting and successful 2019 Berlinale

What a Berlinale! We are incredibly proud of our students and alumni who presented so many great films in almost all sections of the festival. In only 10 days, 14 of their films were shown 60 times on the cinema screens of Germany’s capital—and there were award winners!


4 films screened in Forum or Perspektive Deutsches Kino

Sara Summa, Miriam Bliese, and Simona Kostova—three talented women directors from the DFFB celebrated their feature films’ respective world and German premieres at the Berlinale. While Sara Summa enjoyed a successful world premiere in Forum with GLI ULTIMI A VEDERLI VIVERE, Miriam Bliese’s DIE EINZELTEILE DER LIEBE was presented to the audience for the first time in Perspektive Deutsches Kino. DREISSIG by Simona Kostova received its German premiere at the Berlinale and—winner of this year’s Max Ophüls Prize—DAS MELANCHOLISCHE MÄDCHEN by Susanne Heinrich made a guest appearance in Perspektive Deutsches Kino.
We wish our talented directors continued success!


Awards for DFFB graduates

We warmly congratulate our alumna Angela Schanelec who won the Silver Bear for Best Director. With ICH WAR ZU HAUSE, ABER the Berlin director took part in the Berlinale competition for the first time and impressed the international jury with elements of the Berlin School—a film with long, spacious takes, and silence.

Congratulations also go out to the team of SYSTEMSPRENGER, especially to director Nora Fingscheidt and DFFB alumnus and producer Jonas Weydemann, who were awarded the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize by the jury. The prize has been awarded since 1987 to competition feature films that provide new perspectives on the art of filmmaking. The prize was named after the first director of the festival Alfred Bauer. SYSTEMSPRENGER also received the Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Jury Prize.

Additionally, the Compass-Perspektive-Award, endowed with €5,000, was given to a film with DFFB participation. We congratulate BORN IN EVIN by Maryam Zaree, who worked on the film with DFFB alumna and cinematographer Siri Klug, for receiving the award for the best film from the current programme of Perspektive Deutsches Kino.

We also congratulate DFFB graduate Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu, who was awarded the Kompagnon-Fellowship for her treatment TRANSIT TIMES. The prize, jointly given by Berlinale Talents and Perspektive Deutsches Kino, offers a fellowship of €5,000 for independent script and project development, a mentoring programme to strengthen the director’s creative vision, as well as coaching to improve networking within the industry.


HAGAZUSSA celebrates success during the Berlin Critic’s Week

A DFFB graduate was awarded a coveted prize during the Berlin Critic’s Week—for her extraordinary work on HAGAZUSSA, our graduate and cinematographer Mariel Baqueiro received the prize for Best Camera given by
the German Film Critics Association. We would like to congratulate HAGAZUSSA on winning this award, another prize to add to its collection after the film received the FIRST STEPS AWARDS 2018.


Julian Radlmeier brings home the Golden Lola for the best unfilmed script

Another reason to celebrate: DFFB alumnus Julian Radlmaier was awarded the Golden Lola 2019 for the best unfilmed script for his treatment BLUTSAUGER. The prize, endowed with €10,000, was presented at the reception of the Verband Deutscher Drehbuchautoren (VDD) by Monika Grütters, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media.

Wow! Congratulations to all students and alumni on being invited to participate in the festival and especially to the prizewinners! We are looking forward to the next season and can only add one thing: Keep up the good work!


Mariel Baqueiro wins the prize for Best Camera awarded by the Verband der Deutschen Filmkritik (German Film Critics Association)

The Prize of German Film Critics is the only German film prize awarded exclusively by critics. The prize has an impressive reputation, and is not based on economic, country, or political criteria, but solely on an artistic criterion. In the past, the prize was also awarded to outstanding films and directors of the year; it was awarded for the first time in 1956.

This year, the prize for the best camera was awarded to DFFB graduate Mariel Baqueiro, presented by the German Film Critics Association. The award went to her work on HAGAZUSSA (D/S: Lukas Feigelfeld, C: Mariel Baquiero, P: Simon Lubinsky, Lukas Feigelfeld). Through her impressive images, Mariel creates a fightening atmosphere hat captivates. Her camera work enables a deep immersion of the protagnist. In the whirlpool of psychedelic-ecstatic image sequences, action and reaction fall into one and make it difficult for us to make a moral judgement – a real visual experience for the audience. HAGAZUSSA already gained admiration during the First Steps Award 2018, winning the Michael Ballhaus Award for the Best Cinematography, which was endowed with a €10,000 award.

We congratulate Mariel on this new award!

German Screenplay Award for Alumnus Julian Radlmaier

DFFB alumnus Julian Radlmaier and his screenplay ‘Blutsauger’ has won the Golden Lola 2019 for the best unfilmed screenplay. At the reception of the Verband Deutscher Drehbuchautoren (VDD) (German Film Critics Association) held during the 69th Berlinale, the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, awarded the prize to Radlmaier. The prize is endowed with a €10,000 award and is one of the most important prizes for screenwriters in Germany.

The jury praised the script – which tells the story of a fake Russian baron and the daughter of a real German factory owner who make a vampire film on the Baltic Sea in 1926 – as “extravagant, bizarre, and hilarious”. The script contains flamboyant dialogues that interweave with musings on social classes, creating parallels to the magic and corruptibility of cinema. We are very excited at the thought of this entertaining script being made into a film. The prizewinner is also entitled to subsidies of up to €20,000 for the realisation of the film.

We congratulate Julian Radlmaier – who also won last year’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino Kompagnon-Fellowship for the screenplay of “Blutsauger” – on this success!


UP.GRADE involved with 25 films screening at this year’s Berlinale

UP.GRADE has always been close to the Berlinale and people often ask if they can watch projects graded by UP.GRADERs at the festival.

So it’s our pleasure to share with you a list of films graded by UP.GRADERs that are playing this year – as well as all the films graded (and even edited) by our terrific UP.GRADE lecturers!


Films graded by UP.GRADERs

System Crasher
graded by Petra Lisson (2016-2017 UP.GRADER)
running in main competition

It could have been worse
graded by Kai Klassen (2015-2016 UP.GRADER)

“My Grandpa is an Alien”
graded by Fran Sokolić (2015-2016 UP.GRADER)

graded by Magda Nizel (2016-2017 UP.GRADER)

graded by Artem Stretovich (2016-2017 UP.GRADER)

“I often think of Hawaii”, 1978
re-graded/mastered by Ana Maria Ormaza (2018-2019 UP.GRADER)


Colour assistance by UP.GRADERs

colour assist/ACES workflow supervision by Fran Sokolić (2015-2016 UP.GRADER)

colour assist/ACES workflow supervision by Fran Sokolić (2015-2016 UP.GRADER)
European Film Market

“The Diary of Diana B.”
colour assist/ACES workflow supervision by Fran Sokolić (2015-2016 UP.GRADER)
European Film Market


Films graded by UP.GRADE staff

graded by Dirk Meier (Head of programme)

“I was home, but”
graded by Dirk Meier (Head of programme)
running in main competition

“The Last to see Them”
graded by Edmond Laccon (Joint Head of Programme)


Films graded by UP.GRADE lecturers

“The Bicycle”
graded/restored by Christine Hiam (lectures on Grading)

graded/restored by Christine Hiam (lectures on Grading)

“Easy Love”
graded by Felix Hüsken (lectures on Resolve, ACES, Calibration)

“Searching Eva”
graded by Felix Hüsken (lectures on Resolve, ACES, Calibration)

graded by Laurens Orij (lectures on Colour science and Grading)

“O Beautiful Night”
graded by Philipp Orgassa (ARRI music video challenge)

“The Pit”
graded by Tobias Schaarschmidt (lectures on Calibration and ACES)

graded by Fabiana Cardalda (lecture on HDR grading, case study)

Progress in the Valley of the People Who Don’t Know
graded by Fabiana Cardalda (lecture on HDR grading, case study)

graded by Fabiana Cardalda (lecture on HDR grading, case study)

Armed Lullaby
graded by Fabiana Cardalda (lecture on HDR grading, case study)


Films edited by UP.GRADE lecturers

“A Tale of Three Sisters”
edited by Cicek Kahraman (lectures on Film Grammar)
running in main competition


Angela Schanelec, Max Linz, David Dietl, and other DFFB Alumni at the Berlinale

The 69th Berlin International Film Festival presents nine films created with the participation of DFFB alumni.


ICH WAR ZUHAUSE, ABER (I WAS AT HOME, BUT) from graduate Angela Schanelec screens in competition. The film tells the story of a mother and her 13-year-old son, who returns home without a saying word after disappearing for a week.

  • Tuesday, 12.2., 16:00, Berlinale Palast (World Premiere)
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 9:30, Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 12:30, Haus der Berliner Festspiele
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 18:00, Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • Thursday 14.2., 15:30, Odeon, Berlinale Goes Kiez


Alumnus Jonas Weydemann produced SYSTEMSPRENGER (SYSTEM CRASHER) by Nora Fingscheidt, which is screening in competition. The drama focuses on a nine-year-old girl (Helena Zengel), who is proving to be too much to handle for all the pedagogical systems involved in her case.

  • Friday, 08.02., 15:30, Berlinale Palast (World Premiere)
  • Saturday, 09.02., 9:30, Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • Saturday, 09.02., 12:00, Haus der Berliner Festspiele
  • Saturday, 09.02., 20:30, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1), Berlinale Talents
  • Thursday, 14.02., 17:00, JVA Plötzensee, Berlinale Goes Kiez (no tickets required)
  • Sunday, 17.02., 18:30, Berlinale Palast


Max Linz’s film WEITERMACHEN SANSSOUCI (MUSIC AND APOCALYPSE) (camera: Carlos Andrés López) celebrates its world premiere in Forum. The Institute for Cybernetics and Simulation Research is threatened with closure—this is the starting point for this satire about the transformation of the university system into a turbo-capitalist research machine.

  • Tuesday, 12.02., 18:30, Delphi Filmpalast
  • Wednesday, 13.02., 13:45, CineStar 8
  • Friday, 15.02., 20:00, Cubix 9
  • Sunday, 17.02., 19:30, Colosseum 1


Uli M. Schueppel presents DER ATEM (THE BREATH) (camera: Cornelius Plache) screening in Panorama. The film shows a collection of existential experiences taking place at night in Berlin—fragments of portraits, stitched together to form a composition.


  • Wednesday, 13.02., 21:30, Zoo Palast 1
  • Thursday, 14.02., 12:30, CinemaxX 7
  • Friday, 15.02., 22:00, Colosseum 1
  • Saturday 16.02., 20:00, International


David Dietl’s documentary BERLIN BOUNCER (camera: Eric Ferranti/Raphael Beinder, produced by Martin Heisler/Gabriele Simon)—also preoccupied with Berlin at night—celebrates its world premiere in Perspektive Deutsches Kino. This documentary tells the story of three legendary Berlin bouncers—Frank Künster, Smiley Baldwin and Sven Marquardt—working in the once-divided city and in today’s nightclub metropolis.

  • Sunday, 10.02., 22:30, CinemaxX 1,
  • Monday, 11.02., 22:00, Colosseum 1
  • Saturday, 16.02., 20:00, CinemaxX 1


Ute Aurand’s film RASENDES GRÜN MIT PFERDEN (RUSHING GREEN WITH HORSES) will screen in Forum Expanded. RASENDES GRÜN MIT PFERDEN (RUSHING GREEN WITH HORSES) is a collection of short observations and encounters filmed between 1998 and 2018.

  • Friday, 8.2., 16:15, Kino Arsenal
  • Saturday, 9.2., 17:00, Werkstattkino des silent green


The film UMWEG (DETOUR), directed in 1982 by Ute Aurand and Ulrike Pfeiffer, screens in Retrospektive.

  • Tuesday, 12.2., 16:30, CinemaXX 8
  • Wednesday 13.2., 21:30, Zeughauskino


Screenplay graduate Ariana Berndl wrote the script for OH BEAUTIFUL NIGHT with director Xaver Böhm, and the film screens in Panorama. Although Juri is young, his life is dominated by the fear of dying. Nocturnal panic attacks are familiar to him.

  • Tuesday, 12.02., 20:00, International
  • Wednesday, 13.02., 12:30, CinemaxX 7
  • Thursday, 14.02., 22:00, Colosseum 1
  • Friday, 15.02., 17:45, CineStar 3
  • Saturday, 16.02., 19:30, Zoo Palast 2


The cinematography for BORN IN EVIN by Maryam Zaree, screening in Perspektive Deutsches Kino, was executed by DFFB graduate Siri Klug. The children who were born in Iran’s most notorious prison Evin and then grew up in the West witnessed torture, murder, and human rights violations. German-Iranian actress Maryam Zaree is one of these children. When she learns that she was born in Evin, Zaree sets out to search for other children also born there in order to better understand her own story.


  • Saturday, 09.02., 19:00, CinemaxX 3
  • Sunday, 10.02., 12:00, Colosseum 1
  • Sunday 10.02., 20:00, CinemaxX 1


We wish you a fantastic festival and film experience at the Berlinale!

DFFB goes Berlinale

The DFFB presents a comprehensive programme during this year’s 69th Berlin International Film Festival (February 7–17, 2019). The DFFB contributes to an exciting film festival with four feature films by DFFB students screening in two sections.


Sara Summa’s film GLI ULTIMI A VEDERLI VIVERE (THE LAST TO SEE THEM) will be celebrating its world premiere in Forum. The film tells the story of the final hours in the life of a four-person family in an isolated farmhouse in southern Italy. With the viewer already aware of the violent deed from the outset, their daily routines coalesce into a tender requiem, a trance-like countdown.

  • Saturday, 9.2., 11:00, CinemaxX 6 (Press & Industry)
  • Sunday, 10.2., 19:00, Delphi (World Premiere)
  • Tuesday, 12.2., 22:00, CineStar 8
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 12:30 & 15:45, DFFB Kino (EFM Market Screening)
  • Thursday, 14.2., 19:30, Colosseum 1
  • Sunday, 17.2., 17:30, Arsenal 1


Miriam Bliese’s DFFB graduation film DIE EINZELTEILE DER LIEBE (THE COMPONANTS OF LOVE) screening in Perspektive Deutsches Kino is also celebrating its world premiere. A film about Sophie and Georg who once loved each other, but are now separated. A laconic portrait of a modern patchwork family that plays out before a front door in Berlin. A serious comedy about separation, interspersed with Schlager music.

  • Tuesday, 12.2., 14:00, CinemaxX 5 (Press & Industry)
  • Tuesday 12.2., 19:00, CinemaxX 3 (World Premiere)
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 12:00, Colosseum
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 17:30, Blauer Stern
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 14:00, DFFB Kino (EFM Market Screening)
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 20:00, CinemaxX 1


Simona Kostovas’ DREISSIG (THIRTY) will also screen in Perspektive Deutsches Kino after a successful premiere at the 48th International Film Festival Rotterdam in January. The film tells the story of a group of friends who celebrate Övünç’s birthday. The scene shifts from day to night as they wander the streets and bars of Neukölln. A raging lust for life. Longing for that special something to finally come to pass which has so eluded them during the day.

  • Saturday, 9.2., 22:30, CinemaxX 2 (Press & Industry)
  • Saturday, 9.2., 22:30, CinemaxX 1 (German Premiere)
  • Sunday, 10.2., 22:00, Colosseum 1
  • Wednesday, 13.2., 9:00 & 17:10, DFFB Kino (EFM Market Screening)
  • Saturday, 16.2., 12:00, Colosseum 1


Susanne Heinrich’s DFFB graduation film DAS MELANCHOLISCHE MÄDCHEN (AREN’T YOU HAPPY?), which received the prize for best feature film at this year’s 40th Max Ophüls Film Festival, is the closing film of Perspektive Deutsches Kino. In this film, a girl roams the city looking for a place to sleep, but between yoga studios, art galleries and the beds of strangers there is no space for her. A post-modern comedy in pink and blue.

  • Wednesday, 13.2., 11:00, DFFB Kino (EFM Market Screening)
  • Closing Film of Perspective: Sunday, 17.2., 19:00, CinemaxX 3


We are also pleased to announce that GLI ULTIMI A VEDERLI VIVERE and DIE EINZELTEILE DER LIEBE have been nominated for the GWFF Best First Feature Award presented by the Berlinale, which comes with a €50,000 award. We are keeping our fingers crossed!