First Steps (Film Award)

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First Steps - The German Young Talent Award (spelling: FIRST STEPS) has been an annual competition for graduation films by students at German-speaking film schools since 2000 , at which the First Steps Awards are presented. The prize was launched in 1999 as a private initiative of the film industry by producers Bernd Eichinger and Nico Hofmann . It is organized by the German Film Academy in partnership with ARRI , Mercedes-Benz , ProSiebenSat.1 TV Germany , UFA and Warner Bros.


The First Steps Awards, endowed with a total of 112,000 euros, are now awarded to feature films, documentaries and advertising films in nine categories , as well as an undoped honorary award. All genres , formats and lengths are accepted for evaluation. Up to five films are nominated in advance in each category.

  • Short or animated film up to approx. 25 minutes: 10,000 euros
  • Feature film up to 60 minutes: 15,000 euros
  • Full-length film: 25,000 euros
  • Documentary: 12,000 euros
  • Commercial Award for advertising films: 10,000 euros
  • NO FEAR Award for production graduates: 10,000 euros
  • Michael Ballhaus Prize for Camera Graduates: 10,000 euros
  • FIRST STEPS script award: 10,000 euros
  • Götz George award for young actors: 10,000 euros

Award winners (selection)

Four independent and annually reassembled juries decide on the nominations and the award of prizes in the various categories.


  • Short and animation film: are you listening, mother? Director: Tuna Kaptan, University of Television and Film Munich
  • Medium-length film: From tomorrow I will ... , director: Ivan Marković, Berlin University of the Arts
  • Full-length feature film: Futur Drei , director: Faraz Shariat, free submission
  • Documentary: Out of Place , Director: Friederike Güssefeld, University of Television and Film Munich
  • Commercial: Would You Listen? , Director: Veronika Hafner, University of Television and Film Munich
  • NO FEAR Award: Romana Janik, Production 1986, German Film and Television Academy Berlin
  • Michael Ballhaus Prize: Sabine Panossian, camera off season, Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
  • Screenplay Award: Jacob Hauptmann, screenplay Zeit der Monster , German Film and Television Academy Berlin
  • Götz-George Young Talent Award: Drama Ensemble Banafshe Hourmazdi , Eidin Jalali , Benjamin Radjaipour in Future Three , Director: Faraz Shariat , Free Submission
  • Honorary award: Andrea Hohnen


  • Short and animation film: In der Zwischenzeit / Meanwhile , director: Mate Ugrin, University of Fine Arts Hamburg
  • Medium-length film: Am Himmel , director: Magdalena Chmielewska, Vienna Film Academy
  • Full-length feature film: Hagazussa , director: Lukas Feigelfeld , German Film and Television Academy Berlin
  • Documentary: Tackling Life Director: Johannes List, University of Television and Film Munich
  • Commercial : myBorder's joyFence , director: Michael Kranz, University of Television and Film Munich
  • NO FEAR Award: sooner or later , production: Marius Ehlayil , University of Television and Film Munich
  • Michael Ballhaus Prize: Hagazussa , camera: Mariel Baqueiro, German Film and Television Academy Berlin
  • Script award: The stork is dead , script: Janett Lederer, Baden-Württemberg Film Academy
  • Götz George Young Talent Award: Zejhun Demirov in Oray , Academy of Media Arts Cologne
  • Honorary award: Dieter Kosslick







  • Full-length feature film: Dust on Our Hearts (Director: Hanna Doose )
  • Feature film up to 60 minutes: Sufficient (Director: Isabel Prahl )
  • Short and animated film up to 25 minutes: Kellerkind (Director: Julia Ocker )
  • No Fear Award: We are who again! (Production: Steffen Hofbauer)
  • Documentary: Reality 2.0 (Director: Victor Orozco Ramirez)
  • Commercial: Sky Nordpol (Director: Stephan Strubel)
  • Honorary award: The editorial team of Das kleine Fernsehspiel


  • Full-length feature film: Kriegerin (Director: David Wnendt )
  • Feature film up to 60 minutes: Papa (Director: Umut Dağ )
  • Documentaries: The Photographer's Wife (Direction: Karsten Krause and Philip Widman ) and The Other Chelsea - A Story from Donetsk (Direction: Jakob Preuss )
  • Short and animated film up to 25 minutes: Dígame (Director: Josephine Frydetzki)
  • Commercial: We're not stealing from you either, are we? (Director: Judith Schöll)
  • Honorary award: Gerd Ruge






  • Full-length feature film: Princess (Director: Birgit Grosskopf )
  • Feature film up to 60 minutes: End of a series (Director: Bastian Günther )
  • Short and animated film up to 25 minutes: Fair Trade (Director: Michael Dreher )
  • Documentary: The End of the Neubacher Project (Director: Marcus J. Carney)
  • Commercial: Kiosk I + II (Director: Philip Haucke, Jens Junker)





  • Full-length feature film: First Marriage (Director: Isabelle Stever )
  • Feature film up to 60 minutes: Towards the future through the night (Director: Jörg Kalt )
  • Short and animated films up to 25 minutes: Everything different (Director: Ina Weisse )
  • Documentary: The Pearl in the Poop (Director: Dirk Böll )
  • Commercial: First Love (Director: Marc Lutz)



Second steps

Since 2013, the German Film Academy has been offering the winners of the categories "Full-length feature film", "Feature film up to 60 minutes", "Documentary film", "NO FEAR Award" and "Michael Ballhaus Prize" a three-year junior membership free of charge. She also launched the MENTORSCHAFT project. Since August 2004, members of the academy have been sponsoring the annual winners of the FIRST STEPS young talent award. At their next film production, the winners will be professionally accompanied by a member from a section of their choice, advised on factual issues and artistically intensively supported.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Here come Germany's best young filmmakers., August 22, 2015, accessed on February 13, 2017 .
  2. FIRST STEPS Award 2019: The winners and the jury statements for 2019. September 9, 2019, accessed on September 10, 2019 .
  3. FIRST STEPS AWARDS 2018 . Article dated September 24, 2018, accessed September 25, 2018.
  4. Award for Julia Hönemann , press release from April 1, 2016, accessed April 7, 2016