Now going into its 18th year, the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, which is held in San Francisco, decided to add a new level of competition by holding the first ever Youth 4 German Cinema Award. Five students from local Bay Area high schools were chosen to be on the jury to select a winning film ahead of the Berlin & Beyond festival that will take place Jan. 15-21, and this past Friday the winning film and its runner-up were announced.
After going through a mentoring series on what to look for in a winner and viewing all of the films, the student jury selected Katja von Garnier’s equestrian adventure “Windstorm” to take the title in this year’s competition. “Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing”, an immigration story told from the viewpoint of a young Turkish boy, was selected as the runner-up.
“Windstorm is a beautifully composed story of forgiveness, compassion and the bond between humans and animals,” the panel of student jurors wrote in their statement. “This moving, courageous film has great performances, excellent cinematography and a wonderfully emotional soundtrack. It’s the kind of film you could watch again and again.”
“We chose Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing as our runner-up because it’s an excellent companion to Windstorm,” they continued. “It is highly realistic, very modern and has great cross-generational appeal. There aren’t many films like this made in Hollywood—it feels authentic. It is important that festival audiences see these kinds of films.”
Once the 18th annual Berlin & Beyond festival kicks off in January, the five jurors will receive an all-access pass to the event, and will have the opportunity to meet some of the celebrated figures that worked on the films screened.
Check out the trailers for “Windstorm” and “Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing” below: