International Debut Feature Film Competition

International Debut Feature Film Competition

Women’s film-making in all its diversity, beauty and ambiguity

Film debuts are an indicator of the subjects that are of particular importance to young women film-makers. They bear witness to the new generation’s creativity and imaginativeness and give us an idea of the direction film-making may take. One thing that is clear is the continuing increase in the number of films made by women – a record 150 debut feature films from 50 countries were preselected for this year’s competition. Hence, the current buzzword and tenet of diversity is almost effortlessly fulfilled. We have an almost overwhelming diversity of stories and formal styles in our competition. For the first time, we include two films from Africa, films that could hardly be more different. There is the magical surrealism of I Am Not a Witch from Zambia, in which Rungano Nyoni juxtaposes unusual shots to paint a picture of a tribal community paralysing itself with archaic rituals. In Benzine, on the other hand, Tunisian director Sarra Abidi relies on documentary realism to poignantly portray families affected by migration. Like Nyoni, whose film is the first ever to meet all the diversity criteria formulated by the British Film Institute, Fanni Metelius also adopts an interesting route to give a well-known genre – the romance – a gender-appropriate inner life in Hjärtat. The competition introduces us to people of all colours, generations and backgrounds – a single father, an Arab German teacher, a pregnant rugby player. And we see film-making agendas that point towards a more equitable future in film. A promising outlook indeed.
_Stefanie Görtz


2022: Gessica Généus Freda (HT / FR / BJ)
2020: Maya Da-Rin A Febre (BR/DE/FR)
2018: Carla Simón Estiu (ES)
2016: Ana Cristina Barragán Alba (EC)
2014: Neus Ballús La Plaga (ES)
2012: Belma Baş Zefir (TR)
2010: Susanna Nichhiarelli Cosmonauta (IT)
2008: Aurélia Georges L’Homme Qui Marche (FR)
2006: Claudia Llosa Madeinusa (PE)


Muriel Coulin

Muriel Coulin was born in Brittany, France. After graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière, she worked as an assistant to directors such as Louis Malle, Krzysztof Kie´slowski and Aki Kaurismäki. She then embarked on a career as a film-maker of both documentaries and fictional shorts. Her feature film 17 Girls, which she directed with her sister Delphine, was honoured at the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes in 2011. Their second film The Stopover received the award for Best Screenplay in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 and won the Feature Film Competition at IFFF Dortmund | Cologne 2017. Women’s issues and interests are central in their work.

Ildikó Enyedi

Ildikó Enyedi started her career as a concept and media artist, later turning to feature film directing and script writing. She was a member of the Balázs Béla Studio, the only independent film studio in eastern Europe before 1989. Enyedi has written and directed five features and several shorts and won more than forty international prizes, including the Golden Bear for Best Film for On Body and Soul in 2017. Her film My 20th Century (1989) was chosen as one of the twelve Best  Hungarian Films of All Times. Enyedi teaches film in European master classes and at the University of Film and Theatrical Arts in Budapest. She is a member of the European Film Academy and the American Film Academy. A mother of two, she lives in Budapest.

Ursula Strauss

Ursula Strauss studied acting at the Volkstheater in Vienna. She already performed on various theatres in Germany and Austria while still training. Her breakthrough came with the cinema films Free Radicals by Barbara Albert and Revanche by Götz Spielmann.
She has received numerous awards for her acting achievements including four Romy awards for best actress, and two Diagonale awards. She received the Austrian Film Award and was nominated for the German Schauspielerpreis (Best Actor Award). Strauss has worked with film and TV directors such as Barbara Albert, David Schalko, Götz Spielmann, Nikolaus Leytner, Nils Willbrandt and Wolfgang Murnberger. She is president of the Austrian Film Academy.

After the War

Annarita Zambrano

Feature Film

In 2002, France ended the Mitterand doctrine which protected Italian far-left terrorists who had fled to France from extradition. In […]


Sarra Abidi

Feature Film

Salem and Halima have heard nothing from their son for nine months. Ahmed, who earned a living smuggling petrol like […]

Facing the Wind

Meritxell Colell Aparicio

ES / AR / FR
Feature Film

Forty-seven year-old Mónica has been living and working in Buenos Aires as a dancer for 20 years when she receives […]

I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni

UK / FR / DE / ZM
Feature Film

Eight-year-old Shula is roaming about unsuspectingly when a woman crosses her path and suddenly falls. In this remote part of […]


Henrika Kull

Feature Film

Berlin, 2018. Maryam is a single working mum who has both feet firmly on the ground. Then she meets Jibril, […]


Alexandra Latishev

Feature Film

Twenty-five-year-old María José’s life seems unspectacular, monotonous even. She attends classes at university, goes to rugby training, chats with her […]

Summer 1993

Carla Simón

Feature Film

After her late mother’s belongings are all packed up, 6-year-old Frida is sent to live with her uncle, aunt and […]

The Heart

Fanni Metelius

Feature Film

It’s quite obviously a good idea that photographer Mika and musician Tesfay become a couple. They’re young, good-looking, talented and […]