Skip to Content

Press Release

2023 Berlin & Beyond Autumn Showcase Wrap Release:
The Teachers’ Lounge Wins Audience Award

Media Contact: Sophoan Sorn, Festival Director

(San Francisco, November 28, 2023) The Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco, launched its 28th Season with the 8th edition of the Berlin & Beyond Autumn Showcase on November 7th, 2023 at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco with a sold-out special screening of İlker Çatak’s riveting classroom drama, The Teachers’ Lounge (Das Lehrerzimmer), directed and co-written by İlker Çatak and starring Leonie Benesch. 

The Teachers’ Lounge also won the Berlin & Beyond Audience Award, chosen by the discerning and steadfast attendees of the festival. 

Statement by İlker Çatak (Director/Co-Screenwriter): 

I am thrilled and deeply honored about this award. Receiving the Audience Award is particularly special because it reflects the connection our film has made with viewers. It signifies that our story resonated and left a lasting impression, and for that, we are immensely grateful. The heartwarming response from the audience at Berlin & Beyond is a testament to the power of storytelling and the collaborative efforts of everyone involved in this project. My deepest gratitude to the festival organizers, the incredible audience, and everyone who played a role in bringing our vision to life. Your support motivates me to push new boundaries and explore the art of cinema. Thank you all for this tremendous honor. 

Much love, 


The Teachers’ Lounge, a Sony Pictures Classics release, is Germany’s Academy Award® submission for Best International Feature. The Teachers’ Lounge won five German Film Awards (Deutscher Filmpreis) earlier this year, including Best Picture (Gold), Best Direction, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing. It will open in New York City and Los Angeles on December 25th, followed by a release in other markets throughout January and early February.  The Bay Area release is tentatively scheduled for January 12, 2024.

The Opening Film was followed by Frauke Finsterwalder’s period dramedy “Sisi & I.” Night two brought Berlin & Beyond to Rialto Cinemas Cerrito, with a special screening of Christian Petzold’s friendship drama “Afire,” and the US Premiere of the body-swapping sci-fi “Skin Deep,” the directorial feature debut from Student Academy Award winner Alex Schaad.

The 2023 Berlin & Beyond Autumn Showcase is presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. Signature Sponsors were the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco and the Excelsior German Center. Community Outreach Partners were Cinema SF/Vogue Theatre, Rialto Cinemas, California Film Institute, Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, German Film Office, and the German International School of Silicon Valley.

Berlin & Beyond’s main spring festival is slated for March 2024. Exact dates for the 28th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival are to be announced before the end of the year.


Since 1996, the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival has been a leading light of contemporary German cinema in the Americas, and has presented over 500 motion pictures, along with the presence of celebrated film figures, including Fatih Akin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Daniel Brühl, Lars Eidinger, Hannelore Elsner, Florian David Fitz, Bruno Ganz, Werner Herzog, Frederick Lau, Maria Schrader, Dan Stevens, Barbara Sukowa, and Wim Wenders. The 2023 Berlin & Beyond Autumn Showcase is presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. Special support provided by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco and the Excelsior German Center.

Official Website: 

Social Media: @berlinbeyond #BerlinBeyond2023 #AutumnShowcase2023


The Goethe-Institut is Germanys official cultural center comprised of 158 institutes in 98 countries. The Goethe-Institut exists to promote art and films from Germany, the study of the German language, and encourage the international cultural exchange with Germany. Having celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2017, the San Francisco branch has been promoting German culture and language since 1967. Its year-round cultural activities include art exhibitions, film screenings, and special events with local cultural institutions.

Official Website: 

Social Media: @sfgoethe