German Youth Film Award



A nationwide competition for young film talents

Although you will not find a full English version on our website, this short summary might provide you with the most relevant information about the German Youth Film Award (Deutscher Jugendfilmpreis). If you have more specific questions about the competition, don’t hesitate to contact us at


The Competition

The German Youth Film Award started in 1988 as a nationwide forum for young film makers in Germany. Back then working with video equipment was very popular, especially in educational contexts. The competition provided an early framework to present and discuss films and videos filmed and produced by the young talents themselves - no matter on which level they were working.

The sole condition which must be met up to the present day: All films submitted have to emerge from a non-commercial context.

The competition was founded by the German Centre for Youth and Children's Films (Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum - KJF) and is financed by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend). Since the introduction of the award, more than 94,000 children, teenagers and students have been taking part in it and more than 600 films and videos are submitted every year. This is one of the reasons why it seems fair to say that the German Youth Film Award is one of the biggest film competitions for young film makers in Germany today.

To create fair conditions in the selection process the films submitted are divided into four age groups:

  • up to 10 years
  • 11-15 years
  • 16-20 years
  • 21-25 years

Additionally all participants are invited to hand in a film on a topic changing from year to year (2024: #OK BOOMER,!?)



If you like to participate in the competition

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Explanation the annual theme: Who or what is a boomer?

The term "boomer" (often also "baby boomer") originally referred to people born in the aftermath of the end of World War II, between 1946 and 1964. During the war, the birth rate had plummeted in many parts of the world - millions of people were murdered by the Nazis, families were torn apart, and countless soldiers were sent to war, many of whom did not return. After the end of the war, these numbers recovered and there was a BOOM of births in much of the world - including the US, Europe and Germany. For a long time, the term was neutral, if not rather positive. The Boomer generation was seen as emblematic of many political innovations and social change. They campaigned for peace, women's rights, social co-determination and democracy, for so-called "denazification," a better education system, and much more.

In view of increasing global crises, however, criticism of the baby boomer generation is also growing at present. Problems such as climate change, structural racism or discrimination against women and minorities, but also the end of the narrative of overall social prosperity under capitalism, as well as unresolved questions about migration, are now also blamed on the "baby boomer generation". At their core, these accusations are based on the narrative that many of today's crises became apparent a long time ago, but that solutions were not sought with sufficient commitment. Instead, the "baby boomer generation" was primarily concerned with maintaining its own standard of living. Many young people feel very insecure as a result, are angry and see themselves cheated of the prospect of a secure future.

Against this backdrop, the comment "OK BOOMER" spread across social media from 2019 onwards - mostly used as a rejoinder to critical remarks formulated by older people in response to the demands of young people. In the course of these debates, other neologisms emerged, such as "boomer bashing" as an expression for sweeping accusations against people attributed to the "baby boomer generation." The phrase "OK BOOMER" can thus be seen as a symbolization of a current generational conflict.

Incidentally, as a kind of rhetorical reflex to "OK BOOMER", the response "Ach Greta" developed on the web - in allusion to the supposed naivety of climate activist Greta Thunberg. However, the expression has not been able to spread in a similar way to "OK BOOMER".



Within the last ten years film technology has become cheaper, smaller and much easier to handle, thus changing the conditions of producing and publishing fundamentally. Virtual platforms like YouTube or Vimeo make it possible for everyone to broadcast their own productions worldwide. Needless to say that these circumstances are influencing the competition as well. More than ever we are convinced that it is necessary to boost public discourse on quality and review of film productions. The German Youth Film Award offers the young film makers experiences that acknowledge their efforts and offer professional feedback at the same time so that all participants can develop their individual skills. The competition supports young film talents and promotes the dialogue - among themselves and with their audiences - by annually presenting the best productions at the Bundes.Festival.Film.

Beyond this the competition also has a clear educational profile. We aim at encouraging children and teenagers in using media in a creative, independent and self-reflective way. The German Youth Film Award motivates young people to do so. Whereas film productions that have been developed in educational contexts often fail when comparing them to productions that are realized under more professional conditions, we are distinctly open for those less professional productions as well. In the end it is all about the idea and the will to create something really personal and authentic.



Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum (KJF)
Katarzyna Salski

Küppelstein 34
42857 Remscheid

phone: (+49) 2191-794237