Award winners of 2023

Here we present the winning film projects of the industry platform 2023. Our warmest congratulations to the winners! – Award for New Narrative Formats

Serious Game by Anja Reiss and Raphael Perret – the prize for new narrative formats honours projects that sustainably change the structures of documentary narration with innovative methods. It is sponsored by the Bavarian Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting (BLM) and is endowed with 2,500 euros and was awarded for the fourth time this year. The prize goes to Anja Reiss and Raphael Perret for their videogame TRUTH DETECTIVES: With the help of unfiltered video and image material from real war zones, players learn how the truth about war crimes and human rights violations can be uncovered – and how this knowledge can be applied to current conflicts.

From the jury statement: The prototype for this contemporary and innovative serious game has a high social relevance, shows the potential when journalistic and interactive skills are combined and complemented with scientific expertise. It can sustainably promote the media competence of users by enabling them to learn journalistic research using real image sources, to uncover fake news or even to become online investigators beyond the game in order to uncover human rights violations.

Five nominated projects competed in a live pitch that the audience could follow online. Afterwards, the jury chose the winners. The jury members were Robin Burgauer (Digital Storytelling Expert, Inlusio Interactive), Marc Lepetit (CEO & Producer, UFA Documentary), Max Permantier (Funding Representative XR, VR & Webseries, FFF Bayern), Gülseren Ölcüm (Format Developer, ZDF) and Katharina Schulz (Content & Media Competence Division of BLM).

DOK.archive Award

by Sigal Rosh

The DOK.archive Award is a promotional prize for compilation films in development. High-quality archive footage is often almost invaluable for documentary films - and expensive. With the award, British Pathé and want to promote projects that work with licensed material. The winning project receives archive material worth 15,000 euros or alternatively 2,500 euros in cash. This year the prize goes to BERLIN CHIC by director Sigal Rosh and producer Michal Weits. The project tells the story of the Jewish fashion world of the early 20th century, its disappearance and its annihilation by the National Socialists. Using unseen archive material, the Jewish artists who have shaped art, culture and society to this day are given a voice.

From the jury's statement: In 1933, there were 2,700 brands in German-Jewish ownership; in 1939, there were only 120 left in Germany. With a wealth of new information and archive images – film footage, photographs, sketches, drawings and fashion magazines – the team brought to life the colourful Berlin fashion industry of the 1920s and 30s and showed how the glamorous "Babylon" Berlin became a fashionable backwater.

The jury consisted of Cana Bilir-Meier (filmmaker and artist), Stephen Maier (Archive Producer), Jan Rofekamp (Consultant, Films Transit Inc.), Emanuel Rotstein (Head of Documentaries, Bavaria Fiction Documentaries) and Simon Witter (Footage Archive, Licensing, Britsh Pathé Ltd.).

DOK.composition Award

by Rama Ayasra, Composer: Zeina Azouqah

DOK.composition, the award for documentary film and composition, is dedicated to the unique artistic alliance between filmmakers and composers. The prize of 2,500 euros, donated by Sonoton Music, is awarded annually for the best musical concept. This year the DOK.composition Award goes to composer Zeina Azouqah for her musical concept for the film project HARVEST MOON by director Rama Ayasrat. It is about two activists who want to bring wheat cultivation back to Jordan.

From the jury statement: The jury finds the approach of combining Arabic sound systems with tempered, modern soundscapes and using authentic instruments convincing. The film material is appropriately arranged, the score fits the location of the action perfectly. The sounds of sowing and harvesting are harmoniously integrated.

The jury consisted of Henrik Ajax (freelance composer and lecturer), Ben Bassauer (Head of Acquisitions & Sales, Monoduo Films), Aline Schmid (Creative Producer, Beauvoir Films), Ralf Schulze (Managing Director, amboss Film+Musik) and Judit Varga (composer).

DOK.talent Award

von Daniela Magnani Hüller

The pitch competition DOK.talent Award offers students from the partner universities of DOK.fest Munich the opportunity to present their current projects to industry experts and receive valuable feedback. The most convincing project receives the prize, which is donated by the Haus des Dokumentarfilms Stuttgart and endowed with 2,500 euros in research funding. This year, the eleven-member jury awarded the prize to the project A SMALL MOMENT by director Daniela Magnani Hüller (HFF Munich). The autobiographical film makes visible the importance of small human gestures and moments against the background of overcoming trauma.

From the jury statement: A Small Moment' by Daniela Magnani Hüller tells from the inside perspective of all the small but very significant moments that happened to the filmmaker after she survived an attempted murder. There are many films that are told from the perspective of the perpetrator, but only a few that are from survivors. (...) Courageously, bluntly and with a lot of heart, Daniela addresses an important social issue with her film: In Germany, a femicide happens every third day. Above all, however, the film sheds light on how the actions of one individual can decisively change the life of another person.

The eleven jurors were Antje Boehmert (Producer, DOCDAYS Productions GmbH), Petra Felber (Editorial Director Documentary Film, BR), Dagmar Mielke (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg/ARTE), Bernhard Simek (Audio Project Developer, LEONINE Studios), Carl-Ludwig Rettinger (CEO, Lichtblick Film), Mariana Schneider (Kuratorium junger deutscher Film), Julia Irene Peters (CEO, jip film & verleih), Jakob Zimmermann (Editor, ZDF/Das kleine Fernsehspiel), Marcus Vetter (Editor, SWR/Junger Dokumentarfilm), Ralph Wieser (Founder and Producer, Mischief Films) and Franziska Sonder (Producer, Ensemble Film).

Mentoring and Festival Awards