Sieger sein

Eleven-year-old Mona and the rest of her seven-member Kurdish family have fled Syria and ended up in Berlin. Or, more precisely, the neighbourhood of Wedding where Mona is sent to a notorious primary school attended by 90 percent “foreigners”. Chaos reigns in the school. Most of the teachers are having a nervous breakdown and frustration levels amongst the pupils are growing by the day. Mona feels it, too. She can barely speak German, but she can speak football. In her hometown, she often played street football with her mates. She misses her home, her friends and especially her aunt Helin. She was Mona’s hero who always supported her passion for football. Everything is different in Germany. Then a dedicated teacher called Mr Che recognises Mona’s special talent and selects her for the girls’ team. But this well-intentioned gesture fails to make things any easier. Mona is quickly identified as an outsider and playing in a team with the other girls turns out to be more difficult than expected. Each of them is fighting their own battles but one thing soon becomes clear: they will only win if they all play together.
by Soleen Yusef
with Dileyla Agirman, Andreas Döhler, Sherine Ciara Merai, Tamira Bwibo, Halima Ilter
Germany 2024 German, Kurdish, Subtitles: English 119' Colour World premiere | recommendation: 9 years and up

Content Note

Advisory note on sensitive content


  • Dileyla Agirman (Mona)
  • Andreas Döhler (Herr Che)
  • Sherine Ciara Merai (Jasmin)
  • Tamira Bwibo (Terrry)
  • Halima Ilter (Nada Sabri)
  • Hêvîn Tekin (Aunt Helin)
  • Peri Baumeister (Ms Abbel)
  • Alireza Ahmadi (Jagar)
  • Carina Wiese (Ms Burchardt)
  • Fatima Hamieh (Aysel)
  • Samira Hamieh (Ayla)
  • Heidi Tebroke (Gina)
  • Yumin Hannah Cho (Thi-Le)
  • Carlotta Su Ipsen (Nadine)
  • Artemis Kostopoulou (Funda)
  • Anisa Perk (Rania)
  • Rankin Duffy (Harry)
  • Manasse Kiefer (Hussein)
  • Matteo Mermer (Vedat)
  • Dominic John Brandl (Food)
  • Ceci Chuh (Commentator)


DirectorSoleen Yusef
ScreenplaySoleen Yusef
CinematographyStephan Burchardt
EditingMarty Schenk
MusicDavid Menke, Boris Rogowski
Sound DesignSebastian Schmidt, Marty Schenk
SoundJohannes Hampel
Sound MixingOlaf Mehl
Production DesignNadja Götze
CostumesSaskia Richter
Make-UpVirginie Thomann
CastingLiza Stutzky, Jacqueline Rietz
ProducersSonja Schmitt, Marc Schmidheiny, Christoph Daniel
Co-ProducersDario Suter, Claus Boje, Joel Brandeis, Detlev Buck
Commissioning EditorsAnke Lindemann, Nicole Schneider, Lene Neckel, Jens Opatz
Co-ProductionBoje Buck Produktion, Potsdam
MDR, Leipzig
SWR, Stuttgart
WDR, Köln

Produced by

DCM Pictures

Berlin, Germany

World Sales

DCM Film Distribution

Berlin, Germany

Soleen Yusef

Born in Duhok in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in 1987, she fled with her family to Berlin when she was a child. Whilst training in fashion, singing and acting, she worked as an assistant in production, directing and distribution at mîtosfilm. In 2008, she began studying fiction directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Her third-year film Trattoria premiered at the 2012 Berlinale. Since making her debut feature film Haus ohne Dach (2016), for which she won awards including the First Steps Award, she has been working on international productions for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.


2012 Trattoria 2014 Der NSU-Prozess – Das Protokoll des ersten Jahres; documentary 2015 Der NSU-Prozess – Das Protokoll des zweiten Jahres; documentary 2016 Haus ohne Dach (House Without Roof) 2017 SOKO Leipzig (Leipzig Homicide); episodes 366–367 2018 Meiberger – Im Kopf des Täters (Meiberger: Chasing Minds); episodes 5–8 2019 Skylines; episodes 4–6 2020 Deutschland 89; episodes 1–8 2023 Sam – Ein Sachse (Sam – A Saxon); episodes 1–4 · Sieger sein (Winners)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024


Fri Feb 16 15:30

HKW 1 - Miriam Makeba Auditorium

Opening Generation Kplus | Audio description via App GRETA

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Sat Feb 17 10:00

Zoo Palast 2

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Sun Feb 18 12:30

Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

Syrian Arabic live voice-over

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Sun Feb 18 14:00

Neue Kammerspiele (Kleinmachnow)

Berlinale Goes Kiez

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Mon Feb 19 12:30

Zoo Palast 1

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Thu Feb 22 11:00

Cineplex Titania

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