Tricounty News

German 4 class wins Oskar for short film

Five EV-W seniors were enrolled in German 4 this year. The class is through the University of Minnesota’s College-in-the-Classroom

continuing education program bridging high schools to college programs.

As part of the course, Patrick Latcham, Debbie Holdvogt, Meredith Gruenes, Kaylee Forcier, and Mickael Lies wrote and produced a three-minute video and entered it in competition with 25 other schools in the program.

The video, entitled “Fliehen aus dem Osten” (Escape from the East) portrays the efforts of five people to escape East Berlin to freedom in the West. In the video, the group runs through various ideas on how to escape. 

German is spoken in the video, naturally, and subtitles are in German as well. But you can pretty well follow the plot even if your German is a little rusty (or non-existent).

The script was written jointly, and it took about two weeks to write and film it. Latcham said he spent about 4-5 hours editing the video and adding special effects.

You can see the handiwork of these talented students on YouTube, at

The requirements for the contest were that the video be no more than three minutes in length, and it must relate to a topic studied in the class this year.

Donna Orbeck is the German teacher at EV-W. She helped with grammar and spelling questions, but otherwise the project was entirely w-EVW German groupstudent-run.

Facing stiff competition from mostly larger and primarily Metro schools, the Eden Valley-Watkins German class won the coveted “Oskar” for their video.



Mickael Lies, Kaylee Forcier, Patrick Latcham, Debbie Holdvogt, and Meredith Gruenes won an “Oskar” for their short film “Escape from the East” in the U of M’s video contest. Staff photo by Marguerite Laabs.