“Passion for Achievement” is the motto of the Stams ski boarding school in the Tyrolean Alps. The goal of this elite training ground housed in a modern glass-and-concrete building on the side of a mountain is: the Olympics. “All people are equal in dignity, but not in talent,” says the priest at the school church service. These fearless and hard-working young people are expected to give their all. Bernhard Braunstein observes this young skiing elite with total focus over the course of one school year, following their strict daily training regimen in which their bodies are meticulously measured, documented and optimised with the aid of machines. Students swish through school and across the slopes in outfits sponsored by pasta manufacturers, insurance companies and mobile phone providers. The pressure is full-on and injuries are a daily occurrence. EU institutions, cruciate ligament operations, doping and Kierkegaard are all covered in the classroom. In between: teenage life. Laughing fits in the showers, improving one’s DJ skills and gossiping with roommates. As they strain away in the leg press, endure trainers’ bullying or engage in conspiratorial conversations with friends, the faces of the protagonists reveal complex emotions.
by Bernhard Braunstein
with Sophia Waldauf, Martina Ambrosi, Eva-Maria Kofler, Pascal Mair, Kevin Kirchebner, Markus Schiestl, Felix Powondra, Lorenz Bassetti
Austria 2023 German 97’ Colour World premiere | Documentary Form


  • Sophia Waldauf
  • Martina Ambrosi
  • Eva-Maria Kofler
  • Pascal Mair
  • Kevin Kirchebner
  • Markus Schiestl
  • Felix Powondra
  • Lorenz Bassetti


Director Bernhard Braunstein
Screenplay Bernhard Braunstein, Lixi Frank
Cinematography Serafin Spitzer
Editing Roland Stöttinger
Sound Design Karim Weth
Sound Nora Czamler, Axel Traun, Tong Zhang
Assistant Director Anna Lehner
Producers Lixi Frank, David Bohun

Bernhard Braunstein

Born in Salzburg, Austria in 1979, the filmmaker studied communications at the University of Salzburg. He then spent several years in Paris where he made the documentary film Atelier de conversation which won the Special Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the ARTE Documentary Film Prize at the Duisburger Filmwoche and was the opening film at the Cinéma du Réel documentary festival in the Centre Pompidou. Since 2009, he has worked regularly with Swiss artist and filmmaker Daniel Zimmermann and is co-creator and editor of the latter’s Stick Climbing and Walden.

Filmography (documentaries)

2006 Reisen im eigenen Zimmer - Der Schriftsteller Gerhard Amanshauser 2008 Pharaoh Bipolar 2013 Sleeping Image; short film 2016 The Benevolent Dictator; short film 2017 Atelier de conversation 2023 Stams

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2023