Press Releases

Saturday, 11/25/2017

Watch Me If You Can: And the Awards 2017 Go to...


  • The main prize of the 37TH FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH goes to German film "Blue Summer Symphony" by Sinje Köhler
  • A total of 13 awards were presented, carrying a purse of approx. €70,000
  • "All the films screened at FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2017 were chosen for their excellence. Being chosen is a mark of quality unto itself. The festival is the opportunity for young upcoming filmmaking talents to get together and network," says director Diana Iljine.


On Saturday, November 25th, the prizes of the 37TH FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH were presented at the Munich film school Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF). A total of 44 films by young filmmakers from 17 different countries were screened in the international competition, including 25 dramatic films, 11 documentary films, 7 animated films and one experimental film. The films came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, the USA and Venezuela. The award-winning films this year come from eight different countries. A total of 13 different awards were presented, carrying a purse of approx. €70,000.

"You could definitely discern the zeitgeist, the themes which are currently preoccupying our society, in all the festival entries," said the festival jury. "It's a sign of how much talent the young generation of filmmakers have to identify important themes early on."

"Blue Summer Symphony" took the VFF Young Talent Award as Best Film, which is presented by producers rights society VFF (Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film- und Fernsehproduzenten), carrying a purse of €7,500. Sinje Köhler has been majoring in directing at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg since 2013. In her 29-minute film "Blue Summer Symphony", she deals with an actress who doesn't like her body; two boys, two scoops of ice cream and a wasp; with a self-appointed life guard who's a stickler for rules; and with a first love that only lasts a few minutes. It already won the 29-year-old a nomination for the Student Oscar. The FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH Jury said in their statement: ""Blue Summer Symphony" is an ambitious and multi-faceted film which paints a lively and important portrait of a balmy summer day, captured in beautiful black & white imagery. Composed as a symphony to life, it tells its tale through its lead actors' very authentic performances."

"We're pleased to be able to present so many different awards again this year," says festival director Diana Iljine. "All films being shown at FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH 2017 were chosen for their excellence. Being chosen is a mark of quality unto itself. The festival is the opportunity for young upcoming filmmakers to get together and network."

Swiss filmmaker Tizian Büchi garnered two awards for his film "The Sound of Winter": The ARRI Award for the best documentary, as well as the Student Camera Award for DoP Camille Sultan. Tizian Büchi majored in directing at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion in Belgium. In "The Sound of Winter", he accompanies an old dairy farmer in the Swiss hamlet of La Côte-aux-Fées. It's winter, a cold wind whistles. The snowplows roar down the streets. Hay softly falls from the hayloft to the stables. The dairy farmer knows all these sounds well. Then he hears a shrill and seductive sound from the woods. The Jury said: "This film gives the audience intelligent and subtle insights into the human condition by focusing our gaze on one man, on his relationship to himself, to nature and to people around him."

A total of three prizes in the international competition 2017 went to German productions. Along with the main prize for Sinje Köhler, the ARTE Short Film Prize went to "Call of Cuteness" by Brenda Lien (Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach am Main): "In a provocative, disturbing and ruthless fashion, the young German filmmaker dissects our relationship to one of the most popular household pets: The Cat," said the ARTE Jury. A second prize went to Offenbach: Jonatan Schwenk received the Wolfgang Längsfeld Prize for Most Original Film for his animated film "Sog".

The first place of the Reformation Prize, which was awarded this year only in commemoration of 500 years of the Lutheran Reformation, went to Joren Molter from the Netherlands for his film "Greetings from Kropsdam", in which a whole village conspires against loner pigeon breeder Lammert. Second place went to another Dutch contestant, Tessa Louise Pope. In "The Origin of Trouble", she sets out in search of her own childhood and her relationship to her dad. Third place went to Norwegian filmmaker Julia Lindström with her unsettling mother-daughter drama "Mamma", which als won the Prix Interculturel for achievements in intercultural dialogue. The Panther Prize for Best European Film Production went to Janne J. Vanhanen from Finland for "About the Birds and the Bees". The Luggi Waldleitner Prize for Best Screenplay went to Australian stage drama "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" by Sunday Emerson Gullifer. The zweiB Award for Best Animated Film went to Alexandru Petru Badelita for "I Made You, I Kill You". The Audience Award 2017 went to "The Unknown Soldier" by Efim Graboy.

First place in the Climate Clips Awards went to Fabian Carl of HFF Munich with his film "Real News", and first place of the Hofbräu Trophy competition for the Best Beer Commercial went to "Hofbräu Trophy – Hofbräu Commercial" by Dora Filipović from Serbia. You can find all the other award-winners in these categories on our website at