How things started

Founded in 1999 as a private initiative of the film industry by producers Bernd Eichinger and Nico Hofmann, the German Newcomer Award FIRST STEPS is regarded as the most prestigious award for new film talents from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Seven of the largest and most renowned media enterprises in Germany (Amazon Studios, ARD, Netflix, Seven.One Entertainment Group, Studio Hamburg, UFA and Warner Bros. Discovery) form the financial and creative pillars under the umbrella of the German Film Academy.

The Award

FIRST STEPS gives the new generation of filmmakers a platform to present themselves and their work to the industry and the public. Four independent juries, made up of industry experts and established filmmakers, decide on nominations and awards in ten categories. The FIRST STEPS Awards are the most important and, with a total of €131,000, the highest-endowed award for newcomer filmmakers in the German-speaking countries.

FIRST STEPS and beyond

FIRST STEPS is not only an award but also a program. In addition to the Awards Ceremony, FIRST STEPS offers a varied nominee program to meet and network with each other and with selected industry guests. During the rest of the year, FIRST STEPS also supports the alumni with mentoring programs, master classes and personal contacts to bridge the way into the industry.

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