German Documentary Award in its various categories

Splitting the main prize for the film “Mr. Bachmann and His Separation” by Maria Speth and “Dear Children of the Future” by Franz Bohm / Awards ceremony on June 24.

At a ceremonial event moderated by Max Moore, the German Documentary Film Prize was awarded in six categories tonight (24 June 2022) in Stuttgart. Among the jury members were Regina Ziegler, Gero von Bohm and Campino. The main prize, awarded in the amount of €20,000 and donated by Südwestrundfunk (SWR) and Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbH (MFG), was split this year and went equally to director Maria Sebeth for “Mr. Bachmann and His Class” and to Franz Böhm for Film Dear future children. Awards ceremony registration will be available the following week on the SWR Doku Festival website.

Movies in other categories

The Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award was presented for the second time. This goes to Werner Herzog. For a music documentary, Enrique Sanchez-Lanche received the SWR Music Prize, awarded in the amount of €5,000, for his film Symphony of Noise – Matthew Herbert’s Revolution. Ruth Reiser received a €5,000 prize funded by Norbert Daldrop Art and Culture for “Interpreting Reality – Georg Stefan Troller”. “The Other Side of the River” by Antonia Killian won the House of Documentary Films promotional prize of €3,000. The Audience Award from SWR Landesschau, donated by Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbH (MFG) and Landesanstalt für Kommunikation (LFK) and awarded in the amount of €3,000, also went to ‘Dear Future Children’ by Franz Bohm.

“Mr. Bachmann and His Team” by Maria Speth

This year, the main jury decided to award the main prize twice and divide the prize money. €10,000, donated by SWR and MFG, go to Maria Spieth for “Mr. Bachmann and his team”. Maria Speth accompanied the patient and loving work of a teacher with his sixth grade at a comprehensive school in Stadtallendorf, Hesse. The Challenge: Children from twelve to fourteen years old come from twelve countries with different résumés and languages. The audience encounters a teacher who responds to his students, encouraging them not to give up even in the face of difficulties, setting goals, recognizing and pursuing dreams. Jury: “The director has collected about 200 hours of material from several months in such a way that an arc of suspense is created that not only captivates the viewer for more than three and a half hours, but also increasingly attracts him with spells. Without voiceovers, without digressions, just by looking and listening. The camera team seems so seamlessly integrated into the classroom that there is never the impression that they are acting in front of the camera or in front of the camera.”
“Mr. Bachmann and his team”: Germany – 2021 – 217 minutes; Director: Maria Speth; Writers: Maria Speth, Reinhold Vorschneider; Camera: Reinhold Vorschneider; Montage: Maria Speth; Production: Madonnen Film GmbH; Film funding: Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), Film Funding Agency (FFA), HessenFilm und Medien GmbH.

Dear future children by Franz Bohm

Also 10,000 euros, donated by SWR and MFG, goes to the winner of the second main prize Franz Bohm for the film “Dear Children of the Future”. The 22-year-old filmmaker from Gerlingen tells the stories of three young activists from Chile, Uganda and Hong Kong. Three countries, three conflicts, three women and a similar fate: tear gas, rubber bullets,
Water cannons, deadly drought, governments that don’t want to listen and an angry young generation. The protagonists of the film fight for the future of the environment, for more social justice and democracy. Jury: The wonderful film “Dear Children of the Future” gives the faces and voices of an entire generation. Young director Franz Bohm and his cinematographer Friedman Les capture all their anger, energy and resourcefulness in an impressive way that allows us to see all the desires, hopes, and fears of these special young people.”
“Dear future children”: Germany – 2021 – 90 minutes; Written and directed by: Franz Bohm; Camera: Friedman Liss; The Gathering: Daniela Schrammura. Production: Schubert Film, Nightrunner Productions; Co-production: Lowkey Films, Übergrafic; Film funding: Media and Film Society Baden-Württemberg mbH.

Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award awarded to Werner Herzog

For the second time this year, the Honorary Life Business Award will be presented. The award honors outstanding personalities in the documentary and their outstanding work. The Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award 2022 goes to Werner Herzog. The 79-year-old director, producer and author is one of the most important and influential filmmakers around the world. Since 1962, Herzog has directed more than 30 documentaries for film and television. His films are dense fictional masterpieces that blur the line between fiction and documentation. Wim Wenders personally presented the award to Werner Herzog, saying: “I give you this beautiful award and I am glad that I can be an apostle. […] Your documentaries have a lot of fantasy elements and your feature films have fun documentary aspects – you’ve broken all boundaries between these genres and moved mountains with both elements. You are a “brother in arms” to me.
The German Documentary Film Prize Honorary Award is jointly awarded by the SWR Doku Festival and the Media and Film Society Baden-Württemberg.

SWR Music Award for “A Symphony Of Noise – Matthew Herbert’s Revolution” by Enrique Sánchez Lansch

The music award donated by SWR, given this year to Spanish-German director Enrique Sanchez-Lanche for “A Symphony Of Noise – Matthew Herbert’s Revolution”, is tied for €5,000. The documentary delves into the worlds of sound by renowned British musician and vocal researcher Matthew Herbert. As the artist constantly pushes the genre boundaries of classical and electronic music through his compositions of environmental sounds, he challenges his audience to open their ears to the sound of the world: people should hear like they’ve never heard before. Enrique Sanchez accompanied Herbert Lynch for ten years and documented the development of his extraordinary vocal projects. Excerpts from jury reasoning: “Herbert’s tracks sometimes seem constructed and the instruments with which ‘music’ is ultimately made are well known. But the work of an intelligent artist with a panoramic view of society, the world, nature, and the resulting new listening to our already vibrant world of viewer, stays awake for a long time. And it makes room for those of us who are tired to play.”
“Symphony of Noise – Matthew Herbert’s Revolution”: Germany – 2021 – 96 minutes; Written and directed by Enrique Sanchez-Lanche; Camera: Thilo Schmidt, Anne Misselwitz; Editing: Andrew Bird; Sound Design: Pascal Capitoline; Production: Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH; Film funding: Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), Film Funding Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, Film Funding Agency FFA, European Union Creative Media Programme.

Norbert Daldrop Funding Prize for Art and Culture: “Explanation of Reality – Georg Stefan Troller” by Ruth Reiser

€5,000 of the prize money goes to Ruth Reiser for her film Interpreting Reality – George Stefan Troller. It is portrayed by director Georg Stefan Troller, now 100, who also won the 2021 Honorary Award. Born in Vienna, he has worked as a documentary writer, writer, screenwriter, and television journalist for several decades. This film focuses on a selection from his film treasury, with which he shaped an entire generation of filmmakers. Georg Stefan Troller provides information about his approach as a director and reveals his motivations for creative and content decisions, which ultimately also relate to his autobiography. The jury says of director Ruth Reiser and her film: “Just as George Stefan Troeller used to penetrate the core territory of his novel’s protagonists with his questions, in Ruth Reiser’s film he moves close to us with charm and self-deprecating kindness and appears so casually the question: And you, what have you done with your heart?”
Interpretation of Reality – Georg Stefan Troller: Austria – 2021 – 121 minutes; Written and directed by Ruth Reiser; Camera: Volker glass; Gathering: Karen Hammer; Production: RR * Film Production; Co-production: ORF; Film funding: Austrian Film Institute, Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, Culture of the City of Vienna, Culture of the Province of Carinthia, National Fund of the Republic of Austria.

“The Other Side of the River” by Antonia Killian wins the Europäisches Medienforum Stuttgart e. Fifth

The Documentary House Sponsorship Award of €3,000 went to Antonia Kilian for her film The Other Side of the River. In her cinematic debut, Antonia Killian accompanies 19-year-old Hala in northern Syria. Fleeing an arranged marriage, Hala crosses the Euphrates and finds shelter and community at the Kurdish Police Academy that trains women to fight. Endurance and speed, skill in the use of a weapon – these are the things that count there. Rehearsals in the barren training ground define the days and nights at the academy. Teaching is an agitation for feminist ideals. Hala has a goal she wants to save her sisters. From the jury’s statement: “The great strength that the film develops comes not only from the various characters of the charismatic young women, but also from the powerful observational images perfectly composed into a poignant story.”
“The Other Side of the River”: Germany – 2021 – 73 minutes; Director: Antonia Killian; Writers: Antonia Killian, Jorvara Nimr, Arash Asadi; Camera: Antonia Killian; Editing: Arash Asadi. Production: Doppelplusultra Filmproduktion GmbH and Pink Shadow Films; Co-production: Greenlit Productions Oy; Film funding: Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM), Film Funding Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Hessenfilm und Medien, Finnish Film Foundation, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, AVEK and in cooperation with YLE.

State Show Audience Award donated by MFG and LFK

For the second time this year, an eight-person public jury from SWR Landesschau decided the Audience Award, which was awarded in the amount of €3,000 and donated by the State Office for Communication and the Media and Film Association in Baden-Württemberg. The 2022 award went to the film “Dear Future Children” by Franz Bohm, who also won half of this year’s main prize. Jury: “Dear Children of the Future is impressive both in terms of form and content. But especially because of the extremism with which the younger generation of protesters puts their values ​​above their lives, and for us it is truly cinema in the form of political inspiration.”

German Jury Prize for Documentary Films

Professor Regina Ziegler, Chairman of the Jury (Film and Television Producer), Gero von Boehm (Author and Director), Professor Elron Jowett (Director, Screenwriter and Emeritus Professor of Acting, Screenplay and Direction at the Film University of Babelsberg), Professor Astrid Pellengahr (Director of the Württemberg State Museum), Professor Bettina Ritz (President of HFF Munich, Member of the German and European Film Academy)

Jury for a documentary film in the field of music

Campino / Andreas Frege (head of ‘Die Toten Hosen’), Professor Voula Dada (singer, composer, vocal teacher and university lecturer), Rainer Homburg (artistic director of Hymnus Choir, organist, conductor and composer)
If you have any questions, please contact the German Documentary Film Award office: tel: 0711929 14003, e-mail:

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