Film Guests 2020


© Mathias BothorThe 24th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival is honored and proud to welcome to San Francisco this special delegation of cultural and film talents and industry professionals.

© Mathias Bothor
2020 Spotlight Award in Acting Honoree Actress – What Might Have Been

Christiane Paul is one of the most successful German actresses of her generation. Performing in a wide variety of genres, she has impersonated a broad spectrum of characters. She was nominated 12 times for her performances, including the German Film Award in 2017. She has received seven awards as Best Actress, including the International Emmy for her role as a federal prosecutor in the political thriller “Under the Radar.” Read more about Christiane Paul.

© Ole Westermann

Subject, Bouncer and Photographer – Berlin Bouncer

Born in 1962 in East Berlin, Sven Marquardt was a defining part of the emerging Punk, New Wave and arts scene in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood from the mid-1980s. With the fall of the Berlin Wall he halted his work as a photographer and immersed himself in the reunited city’s rising night club scene. The subject-matter of ‘Night’ left a strong impression on Marquardt since the end of the 90s due to his work as a doorman at the Ostgut club. Marquardt has been working on the door of Berghain since 2004 and from 2007 onwards he’s been significantly involved in the visual appearance of the club’s in-house record label Ostgut Ton. In 2010 his first book 'Zukünftig Vergangen' was published, followed by 'Heiland' and 'Wild Verschlossen' (all published by Mitteldeutscher Verlag). 2014 saw the publication of his autobiography 'Die Nacht ist Leben' (In English, 'The Night is Life') (Ullstein Extra). Today, he is considered the only East Berlin photographer whose work follows the tradition of visual artists Arno Fischer and Sibylle Bergemann, combined with an avid emphasis on fashion. This blend lead to contemporary cooperations with fashion lines such as Hugo Boss and Levi’s on the one hand and Germany’s cultural institution, the Goethe Institut, on the other. Official Website

© Mons Veneris Films/Jason Ashwood

Director/Writer – #Female Pleasure

Born in 1970 in Zurich, Switzerland, Barbara Miller holds a first degree in law and an undergraduate degree in film studies, philosophy and psychology from the University of Zurich. As an assistant director and editing assistant she worked on Christian Frei’s Oscar-nominated documentary War Photographer (2001) for two years. Since has been a freelance documentary filmmaker since 2001. #Female Pleasure is her second feature-length documentary film following Forbidden Voices (2012). Official Website

© Reza Sam Mosadegh


In 1986, as the child of a refugee family, Reza Sam Mosadegh fled from Iran to Germany. He was not allowed to return to Iran for more than 20 years. The only visual connections to his old homeland were Iranian films and camcorder recordings of his family. Thus, Reza recognized the important meaning of film in his early years. Thereupon, he studied media economics and media sciences. During his studies and under the supervision of a mentor, he has successfully established himself as a director through various projects. At 25, he has won his first director awards at the "ElevateFilmFestival" in Los Angeles. Reza has high expectations in terms of visual language, the latter is important to him because, as a refugee child, he wanted to understand films despite the language barrier.

© Cornel Brad

Actress Gipsy Queen

Born in 1987, actress, playwright, and director Alina Serban grew up in Bucharest, Romania. Overcoming major obstacles, including poverty and discrimination, she was the first member of her Roma family to graduate from high school and university. Following a drama degree at Academy of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography (Bucharest) and attendance at Tisch in New York, she obtained a master’s from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She acted opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC television series The Last Enemy, and made her silver screen debut in the award-winning short Written/Unwritten. For her first lead role in cinema, she starred in Marta Bergman’s Alone at My Wedding, which premiered at Cannes in 2018 and earned her several Best Actress awards. As a playwright, she pioneered Roma feminist political theatre in Romania. Her latest play, 'The Great Shame,’ is Romania’s first play about the taboo topic of Roma slavery. Official Website

© Andreas Kuehlken

Director – Too Far Away

Sarah Winkenstette was born in 1980 in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. She completed her journalism study program at RTL Journalistenschule, Cologne between 2003-2004. Since 2005, she has been a freelance writer and director for various children's TV programs that have broadcasted on WDR, ZDF and the Disney Channel (Germany). Too Far Away, winner of the 2020 Berlin & Beyond Film Festival’s Youth 4 German Cinema Award, is her first feature.