Serial Eyes celebrates its 10th year with a new Head of Studies and exciting developments

Serial Eyes, the DFFB’s postgraduate training programme for writers of television series, is celebrating its tenth year. With the achievement of this milestone, the DFFB has taken further steps to secure the programme’s successful future: a freshly appointed Head of Studies, a new industry partner, a new advisory board, and a new set of 12 participants starting the next term in September.

Serial Eyes is happy to announce its new Head of Studies, Katrin Merkel, who began the position on 1st July 2022. Katrin Merkel has many years of experience working in various departments of television. She has worked as writer and in script development for a variety of major production companies, as a script reader and dramaturge in the fiction department of the German private broadcaster RTL Television, as a freelance development producer for various TV series productions, and as a teacher for dramaturgy and serial storytelling/Writers’ Room. In 2021, she published the well-received book DER GERMAN ROOM – Der US-Writers’ Room in der deutschen Serienentwicklung together with her co-author Timo Gößler.

“I feel very honoured to be now part of Serial Eyes, Europe’s first and premier postgraduate education program in serial storytelling. Forming the next generation of European television writers is a real matter of the heart to me. Combining the professionalism and efficiency of the US American Writers’ Room system with our European traditions and market realities is a challenge. I am proud and can’t wait to contribute my knowledge and experience to the development of this process.” (Katrin Merkel)

This year, once again, Serial Eyes has attracted participants from all over the world. A total of twelve writers from Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Hungary, Kenya, Israel, and Finland will develop new concepts for television series and learn to work collaboratively in the Writers’ Room. Under the guidance of a team of international lecturers from the industry – show runners, head writers, producers, and commissioning editors of European broadcasters – each participant will develop a television series that will be presented at the Final Pitch in front of a professional audience at the end of the programme in May 2023.

Furthermore, Serial Eyes has a strong new industry partner on board: VIS, the international studio division of Paramount and one of the world’s leading producers of premium entertainment content, has partnered with Serial Eyes to help foster the next generation of screenwriting talent. VIS now joins other top industry partners like Sky Deutschland, Atlantique Productions, Dynamic Television, Real Film, and Big Light Productions to support the series writers of the future.

To ensure the continued successful development of Serial Eyes into and beyond its tenth year, a board consisting of Jana Burbach (Serial Eyes Alumna 2014/15, Writer – Tribes of Europa, Breaking Even), Nathalie Perus (General Manager/Atlantique Productions), Frank Spotnitz (CEO/Big Light Productions, Writer and Producer – The X Files, The Man in the High Castle), and Klaus Zimmermann (Managing Director/Dynamic Television, Producer – Borgia, Drops of God) has been established. The board will provide institutional knowledge, assist in assuring the high-quality standards of Serial Eyes and work closely strategically with Katrin Merkel to foster the growth of the programme.

Filmmakers for Ukraine

Crew United has launched the central platform “Filmmakers for Ukraine” for all Ukrainians affected by the war. In particular, those seeking help from Ukraine can find out about current and verified offers of help from all over Europe. For people who want to get involved, the site also offers a good overview with numerous contact points.

In addition, there are offers specifically tailored to the film industry as well as a page curated by film journalists on important documentaries and feature films about Ukraine.

Together with industry partners, Crew United has thus created a valuable platform that provides structured information for all those seeking help and those who would like to get involved.

The DFFB thanks Crew United and its partners and joins them in spreading the word.


Solidarity with Ukraine

The German Film and Television Academy Berlin is shocked by Russia’s attack on Ukraine and is deeply dismayed by the events of the last few days. We strongly condemn this military action and are deeply concerned for the people of the country.

Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine in these difficult times, especially with our students with Ukrainian roots. They, their families and friends, deserve our full solidarity, support and assistance.

We hope that the people of Ukraine will be able to get to safety and that this war, which we did not believe possible until recently, will come to a quick end.

The Directorate of the DFFB



Short Film | 2018 | Germany | 5 minutes



CHAOS is a story about greed and time. It’s a deconstruction of known genres and form.



Director: Samuel Auer
Author: Samuel Auer
Cinematographer: Lukas Eylandt
Producer: Samuel Auer


Directors Statement

“There are only a handful of stories that we filmmakers tell over and over again. Therefore, as a director, I am always on the lookout for other forms to tell. For a long time, I wanted to create a film that can be seen both forward and backward and only unfolds completely when seen several times. CHAOS is our attempt to understand time differently and question its linearity. My DOP, Lukas Eylandt, and I wanted to shoot a genre film for a long time and saw this as an opportunity to deconstruct film genres, tell a bank robbery without ever seeing it and mix fairy tales with gangster noir.” – Samuel Auer



Short Documentary | 2017 | Germany/Israel | 24 minutes



EXIT is a film about two women who left the ultra-orthodox community. Sara Murray became ultra-orthodox at the age of 17 when she moved to Israel from the US and met her future husband. She lived a strongly religious and dedicated life until she couldn’t handle the rigidness of her faith anymore. Leaving the ultra-othodox world, she lost all her children who she can now only meet 2 hours a week in a day care center watched by Rabbinical social workers.



Director: Katharina Woll
Author: Katharina Woll
Cinematographer: Daniel Binsted
Producer: Markus Kaatsch, Dana Gal



Short Film | 2014 | Germany | 22 minutes



Thirteen- year-old LIA is in love with the fourteen year-old, perfect, Adam and actually there is no problem at all. Adam is cute, super intellectual, sporty and is interested only in her. Why, she does not know. Something’s very wrong with her, or at least she seems to think so. When Adams parents give the two tickets to their favorite opera and insist that Lias parents come along, troubles begin. Although lovely and warm, Lias parents are animals! Lia is convinced that Adam will separate from her as soon as he finds out. And so Lia just rents new parents. They are perfect just like Adam, or at least she seems to think so.



Director: Rebeca Ofek
Author: Ines Berwing
Cinematographer: Albrecht von Grünhagen
Producer: Rebeca Ofek



Short Film | 2017 | Germany | 12 minutes



From a playground opposite a dark, mystical forest, a young girl peers between the trees in search of the spirit of her recently deceased mother. Feeling a sudden force of attraction, she wanders out alone hoping to find solace. Within, she communicates with the surrounding nature while slowly bringing it to life. She exceeds the borders of reality, making her way into the supernatural. Deep into the forest she finds comfort in an old tree, and by laying down next to it, she feels the warmth of her mother.



Director: Lasse Holdhus
Author: Josef Ulbig
Cinematographer: Antonia Lang
Producer: Henning Wagner, Nadja Rothkirch



Short Documentary | 2017 | Germany | 5 minutes



LUCKY FELLOW is a brief portrait of the Berlin-based artist Kolja Kugler who builds sculptures and robots out of trash.



Director: Samuel Auer
Author: Samuel Auer
Cinematographer: Tobias Gaede
Producer: Tobias Gaede



Short Film | 2017 | Germany | 15 minutes



Where to go if not to work? One morning, on a parking place somewhere in Germany, a man decides not to leave his car, but to flee into the woods. Hunted by the longing to break out and on the search for something real, natural, he starts a fantastic journey through the forest. A surrealistic film of six episodes about a man daring to step out of society to find less of “nature” but more of himself.



Director: Tanja Egen
Author: Tanja Egen
Cinematographer: Katharina Schelling
Producer: Jennifer Egen, Katharina Schelling