German Composition Funding Award 2021

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 Euro 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.


The prize sponsor: 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.

Award winners 2020: AWALATJE – THE MIDWIVES of Anna-Marlene Bicking, Sarah Noa Bozenhardt, 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's 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).


Review: German Composition Funding Award 2019

Max Sänger, director of MAU KE MANA – OR: WHERE ARE YOU GOING? and jury member Alexander Kukelka

The German Composition Award 2019 went to Max Gausepohl for the composition project for MAU KE MANA - OR: WHERE ARE YOU GOING? (Director: Max Sänger).

"Between Max Sänger and Max Gausepohl we feel a strong artistic force with which they embark on a courageous journey to Papua New Guinea," the jury said in its statement. "In the microcosm of the rainforest, director and composer search for the 'sound of wood' in all its facets and immerse themselves in the unbelievable space of experience of the woodcutters living there. The driving force behind this project lies in the abolition of the boundaries between the material and the immaterial, between sound design and music, between economy and myth, and finally between the documentary and the fictional. We see great potential in the interaction of direction and composition and are embarking on this promising journey."

The nominated projects 2019



Antonia Goldhammer, journalist
Alexander Kukelka, composer, pianist, author, director, music supervisor
Prof. Dr. Frizz Lauterbach, editor, lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München
Ulrich Reuter, composer
Nicole Vögele, filmmaker