Contest “Youth 4 German Cinema”


© Barak Shrama
© Barak Shrama

The 2018-2019 season of Youth 4 German Cinema (Y4GC) marked the sixth year of this special program that brings together young film enthusiasts in vivid appreciation of German cinema, language, and culture. Youth 4 German Cinema is organized by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco’s Language Department, Berlin & Beyond Film Festival and the North American youth portal Step Into German.

© Martin Rattini / © Pantaleon Films

This year’s jury chose Tobias Wiemann’s coming-of-age drama Mountain Miracle - An Unexpected Friendship as the winning film, and awarded runner-up honors to Florian Ross’s heartfelt, self-discovery film, A Jar Full of Life.

In attendance at this year's Berlin & Beyond Film Festival was German film producer Philipp Budweg. He has produced some of the most successful films for family entertainment in Germany, such as the "Ruby Red" saga, "The Pasta Detectives" trilogy, and independent features such as "Winter's Daughter". 

© Barak Shrama 

JURY 2018-2019

We are excited to announce the jurors of the 2018-2019 Youth 4 German Cinema program. The five participants flew to San Francisco and received an all-access experience to the festival, where they walked the red carpet on the Opening Night, introduced their film selection and participated in the on-stage discussions at the Youth 4 German Cinema screenings alongside producer Philipp Budweg. In addition, the jurors participated in an exclusive acting and film making workshop.

  • Canada: Ana Tue
  • Mexico: Ana Sofia Vazquez, Natalia Godínez Paz
  • USA: Katie O’Leary, Aleta Hammerich


Youth 4 German Cinema was designed to give high-school-age students input into the workings of an international film festival. The program's goals are to increase multi-cultural awareness among students and educate them on the subject of international film, film criticism and the filmmaking process, as well as provide an entry point for youth to the cinema world of German-speaking countries. Chosen from a pool of applicants from across North America, the Y4GC program offers high-school-aged students across the U.S., Canada and Central America the opportunity to: go behind-the-scenes and participate at an international film festival; meet industry professionals; participate in artistic workshops; increase cross-cultural awareness through cinema; participate in the selection of two winning films for the Youth 4 German Cinema “Festival Field Trip” that will screen at the festival for hundreds of visiting students of middle schools and high schools from the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.


Claudia Windfuhr from the Stanley Middle School said:
„Thanks again for organizing another amazing film festival. My students were so impressed with the care you put into the whole selection and loved the opportunity to ask questions after the screening. What a treat for young students to attend a movie festival and to engage in an exchange of ideas after viewing a movie.“

Fatma Platt (mother of a 7th grade student) shared:
"The films were very well done and engaging. I love that my student had such a great opportunity to see the language he's learning in full action in movies like this. It's one thing to be taught a language in a class room, but it's a completely different thing to see and hear native speakers of the language use it. Can't wait to go back next year!"

Andrew Platt (7th grade student) shared:
"I really liked the two movies we watched and the atmosphere in the theater was awesome. It was fun hearing German being spoken like that in a movie."

Will Gregory from the Sequoia Middle School said:
„The Berlin & Beyond Film Festival is an absolutely extraordinary experience for students of the German language and culture. Our Middle School has participated in the event for the past 3 years and it's a true highlight for the students. The films this year were fabulous -- engaging, humorous, lively, and eye-opening. It's a wonderful opportunity for students to hear authentic German, and gain a glimpse into German life and culture.

© Barak Shrama


Galleries of past Y4GC programs recall special memories and moments with the youth juries, the film talents, and the Festival Field Trip screenings.

2018: "My Brother Simple" with Director Markus Goller and Actor Frederick Lau
Open Album

2017: "Hanna's Sleeping Dogs" with Producer Fritjof Hohagen
Open Album

2016: "The Spiderweb House" with Director Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt
Open Album

2015: "Run Boy Run" with Director Pepe Danquart
Open Album

2014: "Windstorm" with Director Katja von Garnier
Open Album


Each annual program of Y4GC is unique, focusing on various aspects of the filmmaking process. Two past editions have also included the production of short films.

2016: Youths on the Streets I Live
View Video

2015: The Festival Experience
View Video

    Further articles