To all Learners and Lovers of German,

– it’s time again to release your creative spirit and enter the annual writing DAAD/IMLR writing competition! This – our fifth – jointly organised competition branches out into new territory: after successful (and exciting!) forays into poetry, prose, translation and dramatic dialogue writing, competitors are asked this year to make a short video on ‘Auf deutschen Spuren – In the footsteps of German-language culture’.

Ready, get set, go! Or rather: lights, camera, action!

The competition is not only about written texts: everyone eligible to register should send a video alongside the written script. Catch an inspirational moment on screen, whether you have already gained experience in the art of film-making or are just about to start your very first short film!

What to write about? Where and what to film?

It is all down to your creativity! Find out about historical or current traces of German-language culture in your area. Maybe an Austrian writer, painter or musician has immortalised your region? Or perhaps the house a few streets down the road is built by a Swiss-German architect? Do you often pass the German Bio-Laden or church in your borough? And unexpectedly, you have a neighbour with Romanian-German roots? Once you start looking, you’ll find more than you expect!

Loads of ideas now? Are you ready to start and prepare your video? Here’s a little advice on what the competition entry should be like…

The video should mainly capture what makes the ‘trace’ special. How is it connected to German, Austrian or Swiss culture?

The short film should feature German-language dialogue or voice-over and not exceed 3 minutes. Our judges will be looking for creativity and language use – rather than technical ability. In other words, any learner of German can participate. You will be asked to send in a written version of the spoken words together with the film.

The competition is open to

– students at secondary schools/ Sixth Form Colleges
– undergraduates
– postgraduates
– German mother tongue speakers and
– anybody else who feels up to the challenge!

Submissions are welcome from single authors and from pairs or groups of contributors, and they must be entered online.

Firstly, you are asked to register. Secondly, you will receive a link via email where you can upload your film.
The deadline for registration and upload is 5 October 2018.

Please note the following details regarding your video contribution:
The file needs to be converted into one of the following video formats: mpeg4, avi, mkv, flv. For further questions regarding your submission, please contact Silke Böttcher,

Prizes or What’s in it for the film crew?

• VIP guided tours to/ tickets for events relating to German Language culture in London
• DVD prizes

How to register and join the competition

Step 1: Prepare your video and your text file
Step 2: Register online here
Step 3: Receive a link to upload your video
Step 4: Upload the video

We have prepared a little guide (pdf, 415.10 KB) explaining how to make a short film. There you will find further links which may help you.

The competition is a cooperation between DAAD London, The Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) and the Goethe Institut London. It is also kindly supported by the German and the Swiss Embassies London and the Austrian Cultural Forum.


The winners are Stephanie, Tosca, Hanna, Henriette from Stonyhurst.

Congratulations to all winners and runners-up, and a big thank you to all who took on the challenge!