“Beid, Hafsa, Melissa, Manessa, Mohammad… 25 children and their dedicated teacher. We wanted to find out who they are and become familiar with their skills and strategies, their joys, fears and hardships,” says director Ruth Beckermann. More than 60 percent of all children in Viennese primary schools do not speak German as their first language. At the same time, there is an acute shortage of teachers and supervisors. Such adverse conditions are the starting point of Ruth Beckermann’s documentary Favoriten, for which the Austrian filmmaker of The Waldheim Waltz and Mutzenbacher followed a Viennese primary school class for three years. The result is an astonishingly cheerful portrait of an unusual community. A film about teaching and learning and the often very surprising experiences somewhere in between.
by Ruth Beckermann
with Ilkay Idiskut
Austria 2024 German, Turkish 118’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


  • Ilkay Idiskut


Director Ruth Beckermann
Screenplay Ruth Beckermann, Elisabeth Menasse
Cinematography Johannes Hammel
Editing Dieter Pichler
Sound Design Andreas Hamza
Sound Andreas Hamza
Producer Ruth Beckermann

Produced by

Ruth Beckermann

The filmmaker and writer was born in Vienna, Austria. Her films include The Paper Bridge and East of War. Her film Those Who Go Those Who Stay won Best Documentary at the 2014 Diagonale in Graz. Two years later, The Dreamed Ones won Beat Feature Film at the same festival. The Waldheim Waltz received several prizes including the Glashütte Original – Documentary Award at the 2018 Berlinale and was also nominated as Austria’s entry for the Oscars. In 2022, MUTZENBACHER screened in the Encounters section of the Berlinale where it won the award for Best Film.


1977 Arena besetzt (Arena Squatted) 1978 Auf amol a Streik (Suddenly, a Strike); short film 1981 Der Hammer steht auf der Wiese da draußen (The Steel Hammer Out There on the Grass); short film 1984 Wien retour (Return to Vienna) 1986 Der Igel; short film 1987 Die papierene Brücke (The Paper Bridge) 1991 Nach Jerusalem (Towards Jerusalem) 1996 Jenseits des Krieges (East of War) 1999 Ein flüchtiger Zug nach dem Orient (A Fleeting Passage to the Orient) 2001 Homemad(e) 2006 Zorros Bar Mizwa (Zorro’s Bar Mizwa) · Mozart Enigma; short film 2011 American Passages 2012 Jackson/Marker 4am; short film 2013 Those Who Go Those Who Stay 2015 The Missing Image; video installation 2016 Die Geträumten (The Dreamed Ones) 2018 Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz) 2019 Joyful Joyce; video installation 2022 MUTZENBACHER 2024 Favoriten

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024