Antonia Mahler
Antonia Mahler

TV movies and series about growing up, coming of age, and staying young in spite of all of life’s challenges


The NEW GERMAN TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS section of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN will once again feature exciting world premieres in movie theaters this year. Celebrated German actors and directors will meet the audience on the red carpet for an evening of premieres. The Bernd Burgemeister Award is up for grabs in not one, but two categories: best TV movie and best series, each offering 25,000 euros in prize money.


the tv movies


A major theme this year is coming of age, in stories about young people in search of their identity. As in real life, an important part of growing up is falling in love for the first time. For example, in the film FLUNKYBALL, seventeen-year-old Franz finally brings home a nice girl, much to his parents’ surprise. Zoe wins over the whole family in the blink of an eye, and Franz believes he is in love. But the next morning it all seems to have been an illusion.

From the outset, Jonas and Emily’s mothers are less than enthusiastic about their children’s budding romance in NACH UNS DER REST DER WELT. Everyone is concerned about Jonas’s severe neurological disorder. For years, the rebellious teenager has been in a wheelchair and has had to be assisted in most physical activities. But Emily won’t be dissuaded; she wants to be in a relationship with Jonas despite all the challenges it brings.

Marie also wants to see where her feelings lead her for now. She falls in love with Erich, who works at a fair and indulges in the nightlife with her. THE NIGHT BETWEEN US: Can this lifestyle be reconciled with the fact that Marie has a five-year-old son? This is worrisome, first to the viewer and finally to Marie, whose motherly instincts kick in belatedly. Even more acute is the fear that Frank has for his teenage son in WIR HABEN EINEN DEAL when he and his family arrive in the village where Frank grew up. For while his wife and son soon feel at home, Frank is haunted by terrible memories of the abuse he was subjected to as a teenager. He fears that the same perpetrator could be after his son or his son’s friends — and this fear is not entirely unfounded.

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the night between us

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The eleven-year-old son of financial entrepreneur Jochem Erlemann actually was kidnapped in the early 1980s in order to extort a ransom of 3 million marks. The film KIDNAPPED – 14 DAYS SURVIVAL now recreates this incredible case for television. Since the father of the hostage was in custody for fraud at the time, the family’s assets were frozen and the father himself was a prime suspect. Mrs. Erlemann had to attempt her child’s rescue single-handedly.


the Series


In addition to the terrific films in the NEW GERMAN TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS section, there is a whole bunch of new series to discover this year. Fans of crime dramas have three options at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. Hardcore fans will enjoy ODERBRUCH, in which a serial killer has been wreaking his bloodthirsty havoc for decades. Investigator Maggie Kring returns to the area where she grew up, as the cases seem to be intertwined with her own family history. Based on the true story of Alfred Herrhausen, the former head of Deutsche Bank, HERRHAUSEN – LORD OF THE MONEY tells of a visionary in investment banking. His sometimes radical ideas attracted the attention of the intelligence services and the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

With plenty of humor and potential for friction, two police officers go about their investigations in the series BOOM BOOM BRUNO. Bruno likes to play the American cop and is quite old-school in his world view. Now he’s assigned to solve the murder of a drag queen with his new partner, Mark, who is into musicals and glitter. Axel Ranisch’s 2018 adaptation of his own novel, NAKED ABOVE BERLIN, is not a classic crime series either. With warmth and wit, Ranisch tells the story of two teenage boys, Jannik and Tai, who are bullied at school and suddenly, without realizing it, wind up kidnapping their detested principal. What starts out as a prank soon turns into a very serious act of revenge, at least for Tai.

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NAked above BERLIN

NAKED ABOVE BERLIN also brings us back to the popular theme of coming of age, because just as these two best friends are outsiders, so, too, are the young protagonists in EVERYONE IS F*CKING CRAZY. All four were seeing the same psychotherapist, who has suddenly passed away. The young former patients now decide to continue their journey of self-discovery together as a self-help group.

It can be good to be unconventional, and only by changing one’s mindset can one make a difference in society. That’s how the protagonists of TOD DEN LEBENDEN see things. Tom Lass’s improv series revolves around a polyamorous household whose freewheeling lifestyle works out well for them until fate brings illness and adversity.

Lill also has a strange brush with fate when the plot of her self-drawn manga suddenly plays out in real life. THE WORLD’S NICEST PEOPLE by Alexander Adolph was inspired by classic suspenseful short stories and anthologies. In an exciting and satirical way, this series deals with an encounter with the evil that lurks next door.

Last but not least, we have two series that will surely make some hearts throb and that focus on a great affection that may have started in youth. One of them follows in the muddy footsteps of the heavy metal festival in Wacken. The fictional series LEGEND OF WACKEN is based on real anecdotes and recollections of the legendary open-air heavy metal festival which has long been famous outside of Germany. From the festival’s gentle beginnings in the 1990s to its becoming an event with 80,000 spectators, the story of its success is recounted.

The Bayern München soccer team can also recall a time when its players were not yet in the limelight as millionaires. GUTE FREUNDE – DER AUFSTIEG DES FC BAYERN introduces us to Beckenbauer, Müller, Breitner, and the other Bayern München players in a time before soccer became their day job and then catapults them to the top as the 1974 World Cup draws near. Their tremendous success also leads to friction that these once close friends must overcome.

With good friends, choice series, criminal cases, and tales of growing up, this year’s NEW GERMAN TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS have something for all tastes.

See also

Representation matters! But it’s not enough.

Representation matters! But it’s not enough.

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Representation in Film, Vol. 2

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The images we see stay in our minds. Stories we hear tell us about our world. Who identifies with them? Who writes the screenplays for our films, who chooses the faces that appear in them, which environments get to be portrayed — and more importantly: which do not?

A new era at the Filmfest

A new era at the Filmfest

October 17 2023

As of October 2023, Christoph Gröner has assumed the role of director of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN and FILMSCHOOLFEST MUNICH. Coinciding with this is the announcement of further staff changes and revised festival dates for 2024.