Category: Journal

Admis­sions Pause: Look­ing at the Future of the DFFB

We would like to inform you about an impor­tant devel­op­ment at the DDFB: We will not be admit­ting any new stu­dents dur­ing the win­ter semes­ter of 2024/​25. This means that there will not be an appli­ca­tion process start­ing this fall. We under­stand that this news comes as a sur­prise to many, but we made this deci­sion for the good of all cur­rent and future stu­dents.


               Plan­ning ahead for a bet­ter Study Expe­ri­ence

The DFFB has big plans: In 2025, we are sched­uled to move to our new premis­es in the Berlin Decks in Moabit. These premis­es will offer us gen­er­ous office and sem­i­nar spaces, two cin­e­mas, two stu­dios, a large tech­ni­cal ware­house, and mod­ern post-pro­duc­tion work­sta­tions. Study­ing and mak­ing films at the DFFB will be a whole new expe­ri­ence!

Our deci­sion to delay appli­ca­tions was made with a lot of thought. The first year of study at the DFFB is very inten­sive. Each stu­dent cre­ates a short film in spring/​summer, and a total of 32 short films are pro­duced. The suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of these first-year films is foun­da­tion­al – what stu­dents learn dur­ing this time forms the basis for the rest of their DFFB stud­ies. For this first year to be suc­cess­ful, we need opti­mal con­di­tions for film­ing and post-pro­duc­tion. Because of this large move, we can­not guar­an­tee stu­dents an opti­mal envi­ron­ment for the smooth pre-pro­duc­tion, pro­duc­tion, and post-pro­duc­tion of their films.

It is very impor­tant to us to not com­prise on our high edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards. These stan­dards are exem­pli­fied by the DFFB stu­dents’ par­tic­i­pa­tion is many inter­na­tion­al film fes­ti­vals in 2023, such as the Berli­nale (GERANIEN by Tan­ja Egen), Cannes (IL COMPLEANNO DI ENRICO by Francesco Sos­sai), Locarno (AS IF MOTHER CRIED THAT NIGHT by Hoda Taheri and SLIMANE by Car­los Pereira), Venice (SENTIMENTAL STORIES by Xan­dra Popes­cu) and Toron­to (ARTHUR & DIANA by Sara Sum­ma).


               Next Appli­ca­tion Oppor­tu­ni­ty

The appli­ca­tion process at the DFFB takes sev­er­al months. This process usu­al­ly begins in the fall; suc­cess­ful appli­cants then begin their stud­ies the fol­low­ing win­ter semes­ter. To ensure that the next gen­er­a­tion of young and tal­ent­ed film­mak­ers has a suc­cess­ful first year at the DFFB, we are open­ing our next appli­ca­tion peri­od in the fall of 2024. This means that incom­ing stu­dents for the win­ter semes­ter of 2025/​26 will be able to begin their DFFB careers at our won­der­ful new cam­pus!

We would like to sin­cere­ly thank you for your under­stand­ing. Togeth­er, we are shap­ing a promis­ing future for the DFFB!


               Open House Day

The upcom­ing Open House will take place on Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 18, 2023, and will be an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about the DFFB. We are sure that a vis­it to the DFFB will be worth­while, even if the appli­ca­tion process only takes place the fol­low­ing year.

  • Film Pro­gram: Come by and watch a pro­gram of DFFB short and fea­ture films in our cin­e­ma!
  • Stu­dent Advis­ing: Get to know our lec­tur­ers at the stu­dent advis­ing ses­sions!
  • Q&A: Get insights into the cre­ative work of our alum­ni and their expe­ri­ences at the DFFB dur­ing mod­er­at­ed talks!
  • Net­work­ing: Get to know our stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff. Learn first-hand what sets our acad­e­my apart and what oppor­tu­ni­ties it can offer you!
  • Pre­view: Get a pre­view of our new space and your future school!


If you have any ques­tions, please con­tact our sup­port at bewerbung.​support@​dffb.​de.

›Women, life, lib­er­ty‹ The Ger­man film schools stand with the peace­ful protests in Iran

»We ask you to echo the ral­ly­ing cries of Ira­ni­ans for free­dom. Become the voice of those peo­ple who are pay­ing with their lives for free­dom« Iran­ian film­mak­ers recent­ly request­ed in an open let­ter.

The death of Mah­sa Ami­ni while in police cus­tody and the increas­ing repres­sions because of the coun­try­wide protests have shocked us and are a cause of great con­cern to us. As Ger­man film schools we have collectively com­mit­ted our­selves to diver­si­ty and against dis­crim­i­na­tion. We have com­mit­ted our­selves to ques­tion­ing exist­ing struc­tures and stereo­types con­struc­tive­ly and to address the issues of abuse of pow­er and gen­der equal­i­ty. There­fore, we also want to express our sol­i­dar­i­ty with the pro­test­ers with a unit­ed voice:

We are deeply con­cerned about the sit­u­a­tion in Iran and espe­cial­ly at the Iran­ian uni­ver­si­ties. We condemn the vio­lent repres­sion of free­dom of expres­sion and the right to per­son­al devel­op­ment. We see you, your coura­geous resis­tance, and the sac­ri­fices you make. You are not alone.
We stand behind you and your com­mit­ment to “women, life, lib­er­ty”!

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

Three Nom­i­na­tions for DFFB Stu­dents at the FIRST STEPS Awards 2021

We are hap­py to announce three nom­i­na­tions for this year’s FIRST STEPS Awards.

Two DFFB pro­duc­tion stu­dents are nom­i­nat­ed for the NO FEAR Award: Tama­ra Erbe for the film BABY BITCHKA (direc­tor: Anna Maria Roznows­ka, screen­writer: Anna Maria Roznows­ka & Tama­ra Erbe, cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Malte Siepen, pro­duc­tion: Tama­ra Erbe) and Sara Fazi­lat for NICO (director/​screenwriter: Eline Gehring, cinematographer/​screenwriter: Fran­cy Fab­ritz, producer/​screenwriter: Sara Fazi­lat).

In addi­tion, Aart Stein­mann is also nom­i­nat­ed for his grad­u­at­ing screen­play NIEMCY– DIE FREMDEN.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all three stu­dents!

The FIRST STEPS award is the most impor­tant award for grad­u­at­ing films of film schools in Ger­man-speak­ing coun­tries. With a total of €119,000 in prize mon­ey, it is the largest endow­ment of its kind for young film­mak­ers. There are nine prize cat­e­gories and prizes are award­ed annu­al­ly to direc­tors, pro­duc­ers, cin­e­matog­ra­phers, and screen­writ­ers of short, medi­um-length, and fea­ture-length films, doc­u­men­taries, and com­mer­cials, as well as to actors. Each nom­i­nee receives €1000.

We are keep­ing our fin­gers crossed and will be excit­ed­ly watch­ing the award cer­e­mo­ny on June 21, which will be streamed live on the ARD Mediathek from 7 pm.



Romania’s Sub­mis­sion to the Oscars: “Col­lec­tive” by DFFB Grad­u­ate Alexan­der Nanau

For the first time, Alexan­der Nanau, DFFB alum­nus and suc­cess­ful doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er, has sub­mit­ted a doc­u­men­tary film on behalf of his home­land Roma­nia to com­pete for the Oscar for Best Inter­na­tion­al Film.

In his project COLLECTIVE (direc­tor: Alexan­der Nanau, screen­writer: Alexan­der Nanau and Antoane­ta Opris, cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er: Alexan­der Nanau, pro­duc­er: Han­ka Kastelico­va, Bernard Michaux, Alexan­der Nanau, Bian­ca Oana), which had its world pre­miere at the Venice Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val in 2019, he fol­lows a group of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists from the Roman­ian news­pa­per “Gaze­ta Spor­turilor” as they uncov­er a web of cor­rup­tion in the health­care sec­tor across the board.

In 2020, the doc­u­men­tary, co-pro­duced with MDR, Luxembourg’s Sam­sa Film, and HBO Europe, was award­ed the Euro­pean Film Award for Best Doc­u­men­tary.  His last film project, LUMEA VAZUTA DE ION B (THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ION B), is the recip­i­ent of an Emmy.

On Feb­ru­ary 9, the pre­s­e­lec­tion of the Oscars—the short­list of 10 films—for the Best Inter­na­tion­al Film will be announced. We’re keep­ing our fin­gers crossed for you, dear Alexan­der!

And all those who are now curi­ous about the doc­u­men­tary can watch it through the ARD-Mediathek.


Pho­to Copy­right: Dog­woof Ltd.

Ger­man Film Crit­ics’ Award 2020 for NACKTE TIERE and GIRAFFE

Yes­ter­day evening, the Ger­man Film Crit­ics Asso­ci­a­tion announced the 2020 award win­ners. The award-win­ning films also include pro­duc­tions by two DFFB grad­u­ates:

Melanie Waelde was pre­sent­ed with the Best First Fea­ture Award for her film NAKED ANIMALS. The jury explained its deci­sion with warm words: “Mean­while, the film itself takes off and dares itself to be a cin­e­ma that refrains from explain­ing away its char­ac­ters. The film takes an undog­mat­i­cal approach to its dra­matur­gies and gen­der images (…). The cam­era throws itself into the fray with rel­ish, want­i­ng to play along with the vio­lent hus­tle and bus­tle of a world with­out parental super­vi­sion, in which it is impor­tant nev­er to let your guard down. This debut film shows no stand­still. Rather, it cel­e­brates move­ment, flaunt­ing it by let­ting the char­ac­ters col­lide.”

With GIRAFFE, anoth­er alum­na, Anna Sofie Hart­mann, was thrilled to receive the Best Fea­ture Film Award of the year. “On all lev­els, this film, which oscil­lates between essay, doc­u­men­tary and fic­tion, is skill­ful­ly direct­ed and is con­sis­tent­ly sur­pris­ing and fresh. (…) Down to the last, fad­ing moment, Anna Sofie Hart­mann suc­ceeds in con­dens­ing Euro­pean labour mar­ket real­i­ty and myth into a whole, which could not be more sober, top­i­cal, and enchant­i­ng,” said the jury.

The Ger­man Crit­ics’ Prize is award­ed annu­al­ly by crit­ics to Ger­man film pro­duc­tions that “are not judged accord­ing to eco­nom­ic, coun­try-spe­cif­ic, or polit­i­cal cri­te­ria, but exclu­sive­ly accord­ing to artis­tic ones,” explains the VdFk.

We con­grat­u­late both teams on their awards!

GIRAFFE by DFFB Alum­na Anna Sofie Hart­mann avail­able on Video on Demand

Demand. The Ger­man-Dan­ish film was pro­duced by Kom­plizen Film in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Pro­file Pic­tures and rbb.

Sev­er­al DFFB stu­dents and alum­ni worked on the project, which cel­e­brat­ed its world pre­miere at the Locarno Film Fes­ti­val in 2019 and has since expe­ri­enced a suc­cess­ful film fes­ti­val tour. The team com­pris­es Jen­ny Lou Ziegel as cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er, Jonas Dorn­bach on the pro­duc­er team, Ben von Dobe­neck in pro­duc­tion man­age­ment, Daria Wich­mann in pro­duc­tion man­age­ment, as well as Bor­bála Nagy, Faraz Fes­hara­ki, Lisa Rol­ing, and Oliv­er Göbel.

The film is about “A tun­nel is to be built to con­nect Den­mark and Ger­many; the present moves towards the future, change is in the air. (…) A Dan­ish sum­mer: long days turn into blue nights. Peo­ple meet, then part ways again.”

Worth a look!


Pho­to Cred­its: GRANDFILM Dis­tri­b­u­tion