DOK.composition Award

Few projects have so far focused on the collaboration between filmmakers and composers.

In order to strengthen this unique artistic alliance and promote the development of contemporary compositions, the Marketplace awards a 2,500 euros prize for documentary film and composition. The award is sponsored by Sonoton Music.

The grants are awarded to musicians from the German-speaking region for the development of the score for a documentary film in the making. The aim is to support the development of the composition and the recording of the music for this project.


Award winners 2022: I DON'T WANT TO BE JUST A MEMORY by Bráulio Bandeira and Kei Watanabe (Composition), Sarnt Utamachote (Direction), Klaus Salminen (Production)

The last picture of a beloved person: I DON'T WANT TO BE JUST A MEMORY

The DOK.composition Award 2022 goes to Braulio Bandeira and Kei Watanabe for their musical concept for the film project I DON'T WANT TO BE JUST A MEMORY by Sarnt Utamachote.

Members of Berlin's Queer Club cultural community collectively mourn the sudden loss of their friends in 2019/20 (and the loss of urban shelters in general) by sharing some personal video clips, music, letters, and memories. As a meeting point between new and old generations, together they realize that there is no proof of their existence and all that matters is to consciously remember and appreciate the living presence of others.

Creating two tracks, the two composers will work side-by-side, following the common question: how to create a sonic safe space? With the live recording of moving queer bodies (breathing, touching, whispering), the instruments, usually associated with the process of letting go (in Srilankan/Japanese and Afroeuropean ancestry) and electronic music production, Deepneue’s polymetric track will create a sonic “club” with deconstructed rhythms of queer club music and dancers.


Jury statement

"With the DOK.composition Award, we honor the willingness to take risks, the reflexive approach to the limits of the experimental, and the innovative forces that such creative processes can generate," the jury said in its statement. "The bold performances at the pitches were sensual and poetic and left us wanting more."


Jury 2022

Antje Drinnenberg, filmmaker and producer
Franziska Reck, film producer
Christoph Schauer, film composer and musician
Peter W. Schmitt, film composer and musician
Gerd Baumann, film composer, musician, head of the study programme "Composition for Film and Media" at the University of Music and Theatre Munich


The award donor: Sonoton Music

For more than 50 years, Sonoton Music has stood for top-class production music – both technically and musically. With over 50 international agencies, Sonoton is the world's largest independent provider of professional production music.



DOK.composition is supported by the Förder- und Hilfsfonds des Deutschen Komponistenverbandes (DKV / DEFKOM).



Award winners 2021: MAY IT BE A GIRL by Akmaral Zykayeva (composition), Katerina Suvorova (director) and Viktoriya Kalashnikova (producer)

Jury statement

”MAY IT BE A GIRL deals with a widespread phenomenon in Kazakhstan. The portrait film explores the self-perception of modern Central Asian women who have been given male names by their parents because they wanted a boy and not a girl as a child: One such name, for example, is Ulbolsyn - Shall it be a boy. The protagonists reflect on the meaning and consequences of their name and thus pose questions about the significance and place of women in family and society. [...] Musician and composer Akmaral Zykayeva aka Mergen will create an auteur soundtrack in close collaboration with director Katerina Suvorova and producer Viktoriya Kalashnikova. [...]"

Jury 2021

Gerd Baumann (composer and musician)
Cristofer Frank (producer, composer, sound engineer)
Sabine Gisiger (documentary filmmaker and lecturer for documentary film ZHDK)
Alexander Kukelka (composer, lecturer Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien)
Michaela Melián (artist and musician, Professor for Time-related Media HFBK, Hamburg)

Award winners 2020: AWALATJE – THE MIDWIVES of Anna-Marlene Bicking, Sarah Noa Bozenhardt and Sonja Kilbertus

The traditional midwife ENDAL, the medically trained midwife WELÄLA and the pregnant HULU embark upon a personal deliberation with womanhood. As the birth of Hulu's third child approaches, she crosses paths with both the traditional and modern system of midwifery - a profession that turns existing social structures in the village up-side-down: Women are in charge and speak their truths.

From the jury statement

"Between director Sarah Noa Bozenhardt and composer Anna-Marlene Bicking, we perceive an intensive and grown cooperation that closely intertwines aesthetic and production processes. With the film project AWALATJE - DIE HEBAMMEN the young team approaches three women in Ethiopia, who move in the field of tension between traditional and modern obstetrics. In this microcosm, music becomes the supporting structural element through the ingenious transfer of contemporary electronic sounds, nature noises and sounds produced on traditional instruments - such as the kalimba. Directing concept, narrative dramaturgy and composition are directly intertwined, meticulous sound research on the part of the composer meets goal-oriented power and enthusiasm, which are motivated not least by an autobiographical moment of the director, who grew up in Ethiopia from the age of 12.

Jury 2020

Jana Irmert (Composer, Sound Designer),
Dr. Meret Forster (BR-KLASSIK editor-in-chief and artistic director of the ARD music competition)
Brigitte Hofer (Producer, Managing Director maximage)
Alexander Kukelka (Composer)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Schaefer (Lawyer, Former Managing Director of the FFF Bayern)