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FM:stories 2024 – These are the winners of this year’s mentoring program!

Cologne, June 5, 2024 – FM:stories is a mentoring program initiated by Fiction Magnet, the joint venture of ndF: neue deutsche Filmgesellschaft and ZDF Studios, in cooperation with the SERIENCAMP CONFERENCE.

For the second time, applications for FM:stories were invited in advance of the SERIENCAMP CONFERENCE. Once again, the search was for emerging writers, great stories, and exciting talents.

Unlike other funding programs, FM:stories aims to offer a creative home beyond the joint development of a series project. The program provides insights into the numerous productions of Fiction Magnet, as well as sparring on an equal footing. Additionally, ZDF Studios offers insights into the international marketing of serial formats, and ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel provides insights into ZDF’s talent promotion.

Part of the mentoring program is also participation in the SERIENCAMP CONFERENCE, Germany’s largest industry event for broadcasters, streamers, producers, and screenwriters, currently taking place in Cologne.


During this event, this year’s three winners were announced today:


Gina Wenzel (37), born in Düsseldorf, first completed a degree in social pedagogy in 2012 and then found her passion in film. Initially working as a freelance documentary filmmaker, she began another degree at FH Dortmund and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, which she completed in 2019 with honors in screenwriting and directing. Her short films have been presented at over 200 national and international festivals and have won numerous awards. The FM:stories team was impressed by her strong stories for a young generation.


Paula Essam, born in 1994 in Lübeck, lives in Berlin and Cologne. The six-language actress, writer, and presenter studied international studies with a focus on Asia and law at Sciences Po in France, as well as media, business, and languages at Korea University in Seoul. Since completing her acting training at IAF, she has appeared in series and film productions (Sam-Ein Sachse, Drift, Drei Leben Lang, among others). She participated in the “Women Writing Lab” with Robin Swicord (HFF Munich) and the “Comedy Masterclass” (IFS Cologne) and has been writing for TV and film since 2023. She also volunteers on the board of Pro Quote Film, which advocates for gender equality and diversity in the German film industry. Paula’s narrative power and bold genre mix impressed the FM:stories jury.


Theresa Lausenmeyer (29) lives in Berlin. After graduating from high school in Middle Franconia, she studied multimedia and communication with a focus on film and TV journalism at Ansbach University of Applied Sciences. During her studies, she made her first short film “Sternenkind” (script, direction, production). She worked as a production and editorial assistant in Berlin and as a set dresser. In 2023, she successfully completed further training as an author/dramaturge at the Book Academy Berlin and has now made her true passion, writing, her main profession. She convinced the FMteam with an exciting and moving dramedy about three FM:stories generations.

Congratulations and a warm welcome to the FM:stories family were extended by Dr. Markus Schäfer (CEO ZDF Studios), Nina Peters (CEO ndF Hamburg), and Malko Solf (CEO SERIENCAMP).

Jessica Hölzl, one of last year’s winners, says: “The mentoring not only greatly expanded my network but also helped me sharpen who I am as a writer and how I can use my individual strengths in the future.” And Elena Carina Lorscheid, another participant in the program, adds: “We were welcomed incredibly openly and trustingly – from day one, we were allowed to explore everything, and our individual strengths and requirements were fostered. I had a great time!”


© seriencamp/Johannes Klingelhöfer