Cameroon’s Cyrielle Raingou has won the Kirch Foundation Award, which comes with a €5,000 cash prize, for her film project “I’m Coming for You.”

The award comes at the conclusion of the first edition of Munich Film Up!, an eight-month mentoring and residency program for film school graduates that started in November.

The program was created by the Pop Up Film Residency, in partnership with the University of Television and Film Munich (HFF München) and the Munich Film Festival.

The six filmmakers who took part in the program were:

Lana Bregar, Slovenia (Film school: AGFRT Ljubljana) with “Dark Head”
Erec Brehmer, Germany (Film school: HFF München) with “Lightness and Weight”
Anastasiya Gruba, Ukraine (Film school: Kyiv University) with “Women Suicide Season”
Loïc Hobi, Switzerland/France (Film school: Ecole de la Cité) with “Crypto Lover”
Cyrielle Raingou, Cameroon (Film school: Doc Nomads Master) with “I’m Coming for You”
Pratik Thakare, India (Film school: Satyajit Ray Institute Kolkata) with “A Midnight Meal”

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Munich Film Up! participants with Matthieu Darras, Elena Diesbach and Christoph Gröner Courtesy of Ronny Heine

“I’m Coming for You,” which is still at an early stage of development, centers on Karthoumi, a young mother. Always wearing a hijab, she rides a Bobber motorcycle across Africa’s Sahel region to trade with Boko Haram terrorists. Once exposed, she is banned from her village. Her journey then starts to get back to her baby.

The jury who decided on the Kirch Foundation Award was composed of French producer Céline Dornier (“The Innocents”), Austrian producer Alexander Glehr (“Corsage”), and Lebanese producer Myriam Sassine (“Costa Brava Lebanon”).

The Munich Film Up! curriculum, designed by co-directors Matthieu Darras and Elena Diesbach, offered an individual plan that met the specific needs of each participant. For the duration of the program, each filmmaker was coached by top-notch industry mentors during their Pop Up Film Residency, including filmmakers Teodora Ana Mihai, Marcelo Martinessi and Daniel Borgman, scripts consultants Ayman El Amir, Nadja Dumouchel and Matthieu Taponier, and producers Katja Adomeit, Sebastián Peña Escobar and Ada Solomon.

They also received consultations from German film industry executives, including Melissa Byrne, Fabian Halbig, Tassilo Hallbauer, Philipp Kreuzer, Roman Paul, Silvana Santa Maria and Cosima von Spreti.

Diesbach commented: “The fact that MFU offers an individual three-week residency in different countries is of huge importance to us, as are the meetings and stays in Munich for the film festivals – at the beginning and the end of the program. The residencies broaden the horizons of the participants and have a positive effect on the stories, whereas the stays in Munich encourage the networking within the group, and with the film industry at an early stage of projects.”

Christoph Gröner, artistic director of the Munich Film Festival, commented: “Munich Film Up! is an amazing new format that accompanies young filmmakers to find their ways into the industry. It takes them on an eight-month journey finely curated by the Pop Up Film Residency team and HFF München – and we are incredible happy to be a part of this journey.”