Since 2006, when the GWFF Best First Feature Award was introduced, the Berlinale has been even more committed to supporting the next generation of filmmakers. The award is endowed with 50,000 Euros, donated by the GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten), a society dedicated to safeguarding film and television rights. The prize money is to be split between the producer and the director of the winning film. Additionally, the director will be awarded with a high-quality viewfinder as both a useful instrument and memorable trophy.
In total, 19 directorial feature film debuts from the sections Competition, Encounters, Panorama, Forum, Generation and Perspektive Deutsches Kino are nominated for the GWFF Best First Feature Award.
A three-person jury will decide on the GWFF Best First Feature Award:
Ayten Amin (Egypt)
Ayten Amin, born in Alexandria in 1978, first studied film criticism at the Egyptian Cinema Writers & Critics Association and then film at the American University in Cairo before beginning her career as a director. After the documentary Tahir (2011), which she co-directed, celebrated its world premiere in Venice, she made her feature film debut two years later with Villa 69. With Souad, a Berlinale World Cinema Fund funding project, she was invited to the official selection of the festival in Cannes in 2020 and presented the film at the Berlinale Summer Special in 2021. Souad, which also won an award at the Tribeca Film Festival, represented Egypt in the Oscar race in 2021.
Judith Revault d’Allonnes (France)
Judith Revault d’Allonnes is a French programmer and has been head of cinema in the Department of Culture and Creation at the Centre Pompidou since September 2022. She joined the institution in 2000 as a programmer and has accompanied the most important figures of modern and contemporary cinema through retrospectives and exhibitions. Judith Revault d’Allonnes also contributes to magazines, notably as a member of the editorial board of “Trafic – Almanach de cinéma” and to collective works. She published an essay on Leos Carax’s Holy Motors (Yellow Now, 2016) and the first French-language book devoted to Kelly Reichardt: “Kelly Reichardt, l’Amérique retraversée” (De l’Incidence, Centre Pompidou, 2020).
Cyril Schäublin (Switzerland)
Cyril Schäublin was born in Zurich in 1984 and initially studied Mandarin and film at the Zhong Xi Academy in Beijingbefore completing his degree in directing at the DFFB in Berlin. Schäublin’s short films have been screened at numerous festivals worldwide. His feature-length film debut Those who are fine celebrated its premiere in 2017 at the Locarno Film Festival and went on to win many awards, including the award for Best Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Unrest followed in 2022, which celebrated its world premiere at the Berlinale and received the Award for Best Director in Encounters. The film screened at festivals in Toronto, New York, San Sebastián, and Thessaloniki, and was presented with the FIPRESCI Award at the Viennale.
The following films are nominated for the GWFF Best First Feature Award:
20.000 especies de abejas (20,000 Species of Bees) by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Disco Boy by Giacomo Abbruzzese
Adentro mío estoy bailando (The Klezmer Project) by Leandro Koch, Paloma Schachmann
Kletka ishet ptitsu (The Cage Is Looking for a Bird) by Malika Musaeva
Mummola (Family Time) by Tia Kouvo
Xue yun (Absence) by Wu Lang
All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White by Babatunde Apalowo
Femme by Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping
Ghaath (Ambush) by Chhatrapal Ninawe
Matria by Álvaro Gago
Reality by Tina Satter
Stille Liv (The Quiet Migration) by Malene Choi
The Bride by Myriam U. Birara
Uriwa sanggwaneopsi (Regardless of Us) by Yoo Heong-jun
Almamula by Juan Sebastian Torales
Míng tian bi zuo tian chang jiu (Tomorrow Is a Long Time) by Jow Zhi Wei
Le Paradis (The Lost Boys) by Zeno Graton
Sica by Carla Subirana
Perspektive Deutsches Kino
Ararat by Engin Kundağ