One In A Million:

One In A Million” by Joya Thome tells the story of two teenage girls on different continents who are connected by their screens and their passion for gymnastics. Amidst the dazzling world of social media, they begin to find out who they are and what they want from life.

Director Joya Thome‘s first feature-length documentary has become a poetic psychogram of the social media generation. The film tells the story of two girls – fan and idol – who vacillate between vulnerability and strength, between the external image and their inner truth.

The idea for “One In A Million” came from the desire to better understand the world of today’s teenagers. What is the significance of social media for this young generation and what does it mean to be a fan or idol in this digital world? What shapes fan culture and what influence does the mass of fans have on their idols, who are often the same age? These digital relationships shape the growing up of millions and are an elementary part of youth culture all over the world. The film follows the emancipation of the two girls from what confines them over a period of three years and tells of their process of going their own way and finding their own voice with great sensitivity and always at eye level.

Director Joya Thome wrote the treatment for the documentary film “One In A Million” together with sound engineer Philipp Wunderlich and cinematographer Lydia Richter. Editor Jamin Benazzouz also worked closely with the trio of authors on the editing process. The film was shot in the US state of Georgia and Neumünster in Schleswig-Holstein. All songs in the film were penned by the talented protagonist/singer-songwriter Whitney Bjerken, who came to Germany for studio recordings during post-production. The film score was written by the musicians of the band Hundreds around Philipp Milner.

About the author & director Joya Thome

Joya Thome, born in Berlin in 1990, began making her own short films and working on film sets as a teenager. In addition to her work as a director, assistant director and caster, she studied education and social sciences at Humboldt University in Berlin and New York University. In 2016 she realised her feature film debut, the feature film “Queen of Niendorf” (2017). After a successful festival tour and numerous awards (including the German Director’s Prize Metropolis, Prize of the German Film Critics), the film was successfully released in Germany and France. In 2020, she directed the cult youth series DRUCK, among others, and directed the live-action adaptation of “Laura’s Star“, which was released nationwide with Warner Bros. in late 2021.

Filmography (selection)

2017 Queen of Niendorf (Darling Berlin)
2020 Druck – Fatou (funk)
2021 Laura’s Star (Warner Bros.)
2022 One In A Million (NONFY Documentaries)

Original title: One In A Million

Director: Joya Thome

Sreenplay: Lydia Richter, Joya Thome, Philipp Wunderlich

Cinematography: Lydia Richter

Sound: Philipp Wunderlich

Editing: Jamin Benazzouz, BFS

Music: Hundreds – Philipp Milner

Sound Design: Felix Roggel

Mixing: Lasse Kröger

Production Coordination: Isis Struiksma

Production Manager: Martina Hedwig

Producer: Katharina Bergfeld, Martin Heisler

Editorial (NDR): Timo Großpietsch


Production company: Flare Film GmbH

Year of production: 2022

Genre: Documentary

Country: Germany

Film locations: Georgia (USA), Neumünster/ Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)


Lenght: ca. 84 Min.

Rating: FSK 0

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Sound: Stereo

Language: German, English (available with English UT and in German VO)

Resolution: 2K

Film label: NONFY Documentaries

Distributor: UCM.ONE


Theatrical start: 20.04.2023


Whitney Bjerken from the USA is a world-famous YouTuber and gifted singer-songwriter. The quiet but sensitive Yara from Germany is one of her biggest fans. Connected by the glittering world of social media and their passion for gymnastics, they begin to find out who they are and what they want from life. A coming-of-age film about success and loneliness, friendship and first love, queer coming out and the courage to find one’s own voice.

About the author & cinematographer Lydia Richter

Lydia Richter, born in Potsdam in 1986, was studying art and design when she discovered her interest in photography and film. To have the opportunity to shoot her first short films and learn the craft of lighting and camera work, she decided to apply to the German Film Academy (DffB) in Berlin.

Despite a lack of experience in the film industry, she was invited to join the camera class in 2011 and made numerous short films that were shown at film festivals all over Europe.

In 2017, she shot her first feature film “Queen of Niendorf” with director Joya Thome in Brandenburg, in which she put the familiar landscapes of her own childhood into the picture. The award-winning film about a 10-year-old girl trying to become a member of the local boy gang was shown at more than 40 film festivals around the world and was released in eight European countries via the film label Darling Berlin.


2017 Queen of Niendorf (Darling Berlin)
2020 Druck – Fatou (funk)
2022 Servus Papa, See You In Hell (Arden Film)
2022 One In A Million (NONFY Documentaries)

About Author & Soundman Philipp Wunderlich

Philipp Wunderlich, born in Marburg in 1990, moved to Berlin in 2011 to study political science and sociology. He gained his first experience in documentary film production at INDI FILM Production in 2015 and worked on various documentary projects and the development of feature films.

Alongside his studies and occasional work on smaller productions, he became increasingly interested in writing and developing his own projects, which eventually led to him writing his first feature film script, “Queen of Niendorf“, together with director Joya Thome. The film, which was realised in 2016 and in which Philipp Wunderlich was also involved as a producer, won several awards and was shown at over 40 international film festivals.

Seit 2018 arbeitet er auch als Doktorand am Lehrstuhl für Soziologie der Emotionen an der FU Berlin, um sein Interesse an sozialen Themen mit dem Filmemachen zu verbinden.


2017 Queen of Niendorf (Darling Berlin)
2022 One In A Million (NONFY Documentaries)

Director’s commentary by Joya Thome

“I started working on “One In A Million” because I was fascinated by the generation of young digital natives and their way of navigating through the social media jungle: Just like in my own youth, teenage girls today still have idols to inspire them and help them get through difficult times that are full of new experiences and decisions. But in a world dominated by social networks, idols strive to be more and more authentic. They speak directly to their fans on YouTube or Instagram, so the line between fans and your idols starts to blur. How does it feel when someone you unconditionally admire speaks to you like a friend, even though they don’t know you at all? And how do influencers and YouTubers feel when they present themselves as normal teenagers and are watched by an audience of millions as they go about their daily lives?

The main idea of the documentary was to cinematically connect two teenage girls from completely different worlds, each occupying one side of the social media divide: a fan and his/her idol. I wanted to find out how the intimate yet distant relationship between the two shapes these girls’ lives and how they influence each other in the process.

On the one hand, I thought of “One In A Million” as a film that could help understand the new world that social media has created. On the other hand, and more importantly, I have always believed that delving into the inner thoughts and true feelings of both girls gives the audience the opportunity to really empathise with the lives and struggles of teenage girls in today’s world. So I’m really grateful that Whitney and Yara were willing to open up to us. While filming, they got to know themselves a little better and gave us the gift of accompanying them as they figured out who they are and what they want in life.”

One In A Million” is a production by Flare Film in co-production with NDR. The development was supported by the Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film and the BKM. The production was supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.

One In A Mllion | Clip: In Love (German) ᴴᴰ


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“One In A Million” is a sensitive coming-of-age portrait of two adolescents that gets up close and personal with its protagonists and takes their drive for success, their longing and loneliness seriously.” (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

“What has emerged is a thoroughly engaging documentary that spans continents to establish the relationship between two girls who don’t know each other personally.” (EPD)

“An authentic documentary about the trials and tribulations of adolescence.” (Cinema)

“Whitney and Yara grow on you.” (Filmdienst)

“The way the two young digital natives confide in the director and let her look into their souls is deeply touching – and very enlightening.” (Kölner Stadtanzeiger)

“After her two successful feature films “Queen of Niendorf” and “Laura’s Star”, Joya Thome has now realised a documentary film for the first time. However, she remains true to her themes, her style in “One in a Million”: female coming-of-age stories, calmly and unpretentiously observed.” (Programmkino)

“One in a Million is interested in the parallel and the divergent, juxtaposing the growing up of two girls.” (


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