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Film Maker Award 2024


28th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival honors
Markus Goller with the 2024 Film Maker Award

Media Contact: Steve Indig PR,

(San Francisco, April 11, 2024) The 28th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival, presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco, will honor the multi-hyphenate Markus Goller with its Film Maker Award (formerly the Career Achievement Award) at the Opening Night and North American Premiere screening of One for the Road. The event will be on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 6:00 PM at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District. Markus Goller is the Director, Producer, and Editor of One for the Road. A special tribute will take place during the Opening Night Ceremony.

The program kicks off the 28th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival. The leading festival of contemporary German cinema in the Americas will run April 18-20 at Roxie Theater in San Francisco, April 21-22 at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley and April 23-25 with virtual programming at

The Berlin & Beyond Film Festival Film Maker Award celebrates the dynamic and visionary art, craft, impact, innovation, and career of a film industry talent from the German-speaking countries.

Born in Munich, Germany, in 1969, Markus Goller began his career in the early 1990s as a freelance editor for short films, commercials and documentaries worldwide. From 1996, he directed numerous commercials and music videos, and worked on films such as Iron Jawed Angels and Blood & Chocolate by Katja von Garnier as a 2nd Unit Director. His first feature, Mask Under Mask in 2001, marked the revival of the B-movie Genre in Germany. His second directorial work, Friendship!, was a surprise hit. With 1.6 million admissions, it was the most successful German film of 2010. It was followed by Eine ganz heiße Nummer (2011), which has cult status in Bavaria. In the 2013 box office hit Mrs. Ella, he sent an elderly woman on the road searching for her lost love across Europe. My Brother Simple, his sixth directorial work, premiered in competition at the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival, and traversed the global film festival circuit. 

In 2017, Goller founded his own production company, Sunny Side Up GmbH, together with Oliver Ziegenbalg. The company’s first production was the road comedy, 25 km/h (2018), which Goller directed and produced. Starring Lars Eidinger and Bjarne Mädel, it garnered 1.3 million admissions and was nominated for Best Picture at the 2019 German Film Awards. In 2020 Goller directed and co-wrote the adventure drama series Wild Republic, which was produced by X-Filme for Deutsche Telekom Magenta. Goller directed and produced One for the Road for Sony and Seven Media together with his partner and screenwriting collaborator, Oliver Ziegenbalg. One for the Road, starring Frederick Lau and Nora Tschirner, shown light on the misuse of alcohol in our society and was released in Germany in 2023. 

Recently, Goller directed and produced The Irony of Life, starring Uwe Ochsenknecht and Corinna Harfouch. To be released in early 2025 by Warner Bros Germany, it is the story of an old comedian who falls back in love with his former wife, who is fighting cancer. This fall, Goller will direct and produce the Netflix Original We Are One. It is the true story of German students who founded the NGO Jugend Rettet in 2015, that saved more than 14,000 refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

At the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival San Francisco, My Brother Simple was honored with the 2018 Youth 4 German Cinema Award, chosen by an international youth jury. 25 km/h held its North American Premiere as Opening Night Film of Berlin & Beyond 2019 and won the Berlin & Beyond Audience Award. One for the Road makes its North American Premiere as the Opening Night Film of Berlin & Beyond 2024.

Previous honorees of the Film Maker Award (formerly called the Career Achievement Award) were Caroline Link (2021), Andreas Dresen (2019), and Maria Schrader (2017).


One for the Road
North American Premiere
Directed by Markus Goller
Starring Frederick Lau, Nora Tschirner, Burak Yigit, Godehard Giese

Although in self-denial about his drinking problem, Mark seems to have easily mastered life between his demanding job as a construction manager and rambunctious forays into Berlin‘s nightlife. A distinctively authentic story about a man facing the obstacles of addiction. (115 min. Germany / 2023. In German with English subtitles) World sales agency: Beta Cinema


Thursday, April 18, 2024: Roxie Theater, San Francisco
6:00 PM

Monday, April 22, 2024: Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, Berkeley
5:45 PM

Film admission tickets ($22.00 & $30.00) are on sale at


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 and cultural 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 28th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival 2024 is presented by the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. Premiere Sponsors: San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Excelsior German Center, and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in San Francisco. Signature Sponsors: the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco, DW, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, and The Orchard Hotels. Patron Sponsors: German International School of Silicon Valley and the Consulate General of Luxembourg in San Francisco.

Official Website:
Social Media: @berlinbeyond #BerlinBeyond2024


The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global presence. We facilitate international cultural exchange, promote access to the German language and support the unimpeded development of culture and science. The Goethe-Institut is present in San Francisco since 1967 and has lately focused on the cultural perspective on technology, as well as film and educational youth programs. Other important activites include events and discussions on migration, memory culture, diversity and social justice in Germany and the US.

Official Website:
Social Media: @sfgoethe