The Berlinale has been even more committed to supporting the next generation of film makers since 2006, when it introduced the Best First Feature Award. The award is endowed with 50,000 Euros, donated by the GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrecht), 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.
Debut feature films from the sections Competition, Panorama, Forum Generation and for the first time also debut films from the Perspektive Deutsches Kino will compete for the award in 2011. The winners will be announced at the official award ceremony in the Berlinale Palast on February 19.
A three-person jury will decide on the Best First Feature:
Bettina Brokemper (Germany)
The producer learnt her profession at the University of Television and Film, Munich. In 2003 she founded the production company Heimatfilm with which she has celebrated national and international successes, most recently Bal (Honey, Golden Bear 2010). In 2001 she became established as managing director of Zentropa Entertainment in Cologne, co-producing films such as Lars von Trier’s Dogville and Antichrist.
Assaf Gavron (Israel)
The bestselling Israeli author has published four novels, including the internationally acclaimed “Almost Dead”. Gavron is singer and songwriter in the Israeli cult pop band “The Mouth and Foot” and was the chief writer of the award-winning computer game “Peacemaker”. He was awarded a DAAD artists-in-Berlin fellowship in 2010 and last December was honoured with Israel's Prime Minister's Award for Authors.
Michèle Ohayon (Morocco/Israel)
The director rose to fame in 1997 with the Oscar-nominated film Colors Straight Up. She has since celebrated repeated successes with her feature documentary works. She presented her film Steal A Pencil For Me at the 2008 Berlinale Special, followed in 2010 by S.O.S./State Of Security, a documentary about National Security challenges as viewed by the former US head of counter-terrorism Richard A. Clarke.
The following films have qualified for the Best First Feature Award:
Coriolanus by Ralph Fiennes, Great Britain
El Premio by Paula Markovitch, Mexico/France/Poland/Germany
Margin Call by J.C. Chandor, USA
Yelling To The Sky by Victoria Mahoney, USA
Dernier étage gauche gauche (Top Floor Left Wing) by Angelo Cianci, France/Luxemburg
Die Vaterlosen by Marie Kreutzer, Austria
Fjellet by Ole Giaever, Norway
Medianeras by Gustavo Taretto, Argentina/Germany/Spain
Romeos by Sabine Bernardi, Germany
Rundskop by Michaël R. Roskam, Belgium/Netherlands
Über uns das All by Jan Schomburg, Germany
The Guard ** by John Michael McDonagh Ireland/Great Britain/Argentina
Amnistia (Amnesty) by Bujar Alimani, Albania/Greece/France
Folge mir (Follow Me) by Johannes Hammel, Austria
Halaw (Ways of the Sea) by Sheron Dayoc, Philippines
Karen llora en bus (Karen Cries on the Bus) by Gabriel Rojas Vera, Colombia
Kazoku X (Household X) by Yoshida Koki, Japan
Les Mains libres (Free Hands) by Brigitte Sy, France
Osmdesát dopisů (Eighty Letters) by Václav Kadrnka, Czech Republic
Patang (The Kite) by Prashant Bhargava, India/USA
Utopians by Zbigniew Bzymek, USA
Viva Riva! by Djo Tunda Wa Munga,
Democratic Republic of the Congo/France /Belgium
Den kæmpestore bjørn by Esben Toft Jacobsen, Denmark
Griff The Invisible by Leon Ford, Australia
Jess + Moss by Clay Jeter, USA
Keeper'n til Liverpool by Arild Andersen, Norway
Knerten gifter seg by Martin Lund, Norway
Las Malas Intenciones by Rosario García-Montero, Peru/Germany/Argentina
On the Ice ** by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, USA
Skyskraber by Rune Schjøtt, Denmark
Stadt Land Fluss by Benjamin Cantu, Germany
The Dynamiter by Matthew T. Gordon, USA
Perspektive Deutsches Kino (2)
Die Ausbildung (The Education) by Dirk Lütter, Germany
Lollipop Monster by Ziska Riemann, Germany
** The films denoted with ** are no longer qualified for candidacy if they win an award at the Sundance Film Festival.
January 27, 2011