Network Round Winners: Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival 2024

Thank you to all the filmmakers who participated in the 2024 Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival!
The festival platformed hundreds of films, each project worthy of recognition and celebration. We want to extend a giant thank you to everyone who took part and a special congratulations to all the incredible talent that went into making these projects.
The judges' scores have been combined with the audience's feedback, and after careful scrutiny, it's our pleasure to announce the Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival winners!

Winners: Berlin Network Round Shorts


Dir. Karim Souissi
Writer. Karim Souissi
Producers. Yassine Benjamaa, Karim Souissi

Country of Origin: Morocco
Genre: Short, Dystopian Drama, Thriller

Synopsis: North Africa, near future, a number of extremely violent sexual assaults causes a massive public outcry and a radical shift in the political landscape. A new law is passed installing a curfew for women. After 9PM, any crime committed on women is no longer punishable by law. At night, gangs of teenagers roam the streets, hunting for prey.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Live Action Narrative, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director


Sounds of Stillness

Dir/Producer. Jana Raschdorf
Writer. Marla Steinweg

Country of Origin: Sweden
Genre: Short Documentary

Synopsis: An ordinary house, surrounded by trees and ever-changing weather. Through its walls, we perceive sounds as the building silently witnesses the stories happening within its walls. Different voices fill the footage by telling us about their stillbirth experiences at different stages within their healthcare journey – together forming a whole.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Documentary



Dir/Writer. Ludovic Verwaerde
Producer. Raphael Beau

Country of Origin: France
Genre: Music Video

Synopsis: ELECTRICITY, directed by Ludovic Verwaerde, confronts constraint and freedom, embodied by a robotic pack pursuing a wild man. Through the metaphor of the structure of the hospital and that of the patient, the video illustrates the absurdity of wanting to cage an untamable force at all costs. The music, composed by LAAKE is a dazzling tale where piano and orchestra clash with percussion, polyphonic voices, and organs in a march that is both mournful and luminous.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Music Video, Best Cinematography


PENTACLUB [The Club of Five]

Dir/Writer/Producer. Roberto Strazzarino

Country of Origin: Italy
Genre: Short Drama

Synopsis: The year is 1968. Five teenage boys dream of running a movie theater in which they will not show pro-war films. One summer afternoon Giò, Delfo, Max, Ricky and Paolo learn to become trusted friends, indispensable to one another. A coming-of-age, adventure film about friendship, one with small but large rebellious acts that signal the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. A group of friends, who met in the 1960s, was essential to the film's production. Therefore, Pentaclub is a film about friendship, both on the screen and behind the scenes.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Acting Ensemble


Schmetterling (Butterfly)

Dir/Writer. Valerie Sophia Musolesi
Producers. David Shoyinka, Yvonne Schuler, Christopher Ludwig, Anne Ullrich, Jeremy Van der Pas

Country of Origin: Germany
Genre: Short Drama

Synopsis: Young Elin is suffering from cancer. With her condition rapidly deteriorating, she decides to go to the hospice. For the members of the family this means an extreme challenge, whereby each member deals with the situation differently.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best First-Time Filmmaker, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director


To Kyiv and Back

Dir/Writer/Producer. Ricardo Daniel Kauffmann Lee

Country of Origin: Germany
Genre: Short Documentary

Synopsis: Short documentary depicting a road trip through a war torn Ukraine, focusing on Kyiv and it's surrounding areas, just a day after the Russian military retreated from there. Experience first hand the horrors and tragedies of this conflict

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Short Documentary


Won't You Come Out

Dir. Thomas Chiasson
Writers. Thomas Chiasson, Joshua Zuckermann, Guillaume Forbes
Producers. Joshua Zuckermann, Guillaume Forbes, Thomas Chiasson

Country of Origin: Canada
Genre: Music Video

Synopsis: Best friends Millie and Matty challenge the confines of everyday life for a taste of freedom. Their day begins in high spirits, but they are forced to change tack when Millie is locked away by her father. Now Matty becomes her liberator, and leads Millie into a night of unbridled adventure. Together Millie and Matty will test the limits of friendship and discover the price of hedonism.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Music Video

Winners: Berlin Network Round Features

The Concertmaster

Dir, Writer. Manoj Mauryaa

Country of Origin: Germany
Genre: Feature, Drama

Synopsis: After suffering a hand injury, the talented violinist Emma is forced to drop out of the music orchestra led by Frank Shubert just days before their major concert. With time running out, Frank turns to Walter, a local florist who is a prodigal violinist, to step in as the Concertmaster. Emma is against the idea of a florist replacing her. Despite Frank's intense training, Walter struggles to read the notes due to a traumatic past. Walter fails repeatedly and Frank is forced to expel him from his orchestra. With time running out, Frank starts his desperate search for a new soloist. Can Walter overcome his challenge and play as the Concertmaster for Frank's Orchestra in time for the concert?

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Feature Live Action Narrative


Ask The Sand

Dir, Writer. Vittorio Bongiorno
Producers. Giangiacomo De Stefano, Vittorio Bongiorno

Country of Origin: Italy
Genre: Feature Documentary

Synopsis:ASK THE SAND is the journey of a father and a son in search of the utopiac city of Arcosanti, the city of the future built in 1970 in the Arizona desert by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri (1919-2013), a student of Frank Lloyd Wright . A journey that is also a father's birthday gift to a son who becomes a man.

Soleri is one of the most important characters of the twentieth century, still forgotten, and his life is told with the virgin eyes of an aspiring architect with very open antennas about what is happening in the world and what each of us can do to help improve it.

With the soundtrack of Calexico, Naim Amor & John Convertino, Joachim Cooder.

Season Award #15 Shortlist: Best Feature Documentary

Lift-Off Season Awards #15

The Lift-Off Season Awards is an annual event that celebrates the very best of indie film. Following each Lift-Off film festival, films that have excelled in their respective category are short listed for a Season Awards Nomination.  At the end of the year, once all the 12 city-based festival have taken place, the shortlisted nominated films are reviewed again by the jury and Official Nominations are designated.  Click here for more information about the Lift-Off Season Awards.