VFF Documentary Film Production Award 2024: The nominees

An award for passion and courage in production

The process of making a documentary film is particularly difficult to plan and often involves great uncertainty. Yet time and again producers demonstrate great courage and show special creativity and commitment in project development and film financing. With the presentation of the VFF Documentary Film Production Award at DOK.fest München, we honour the passionate commitment and the role of producers in the development of current cinema documentary projects.

The award is sponsored by the VFF Verwertungsgesellschaft der Film und Fernsehproduzenten mbH and is endowed with 7,500 euros. The award is the first in Germany to focus on the work of documentary film producers. In 2024 it will be awarded for the seventh time at DOK.fest München.

The nominees

Germany 2023, Axel Javier Sulzbacher, 83 min.
Producer: Axel Javier Sulzbacher

"Black Water Green Gold" is a documentary about an indigenous community fighting for the preservation of Lake Patzcuaro in central Mexico. Their traditional way of life is threatened by the effects of the globalized economy and climate change.


Germany 2023, Felix Rudolph, Loes Snijders, Fabian Schwarz, 120 min.
Producer: Fabian Schwarz

A documentary film about the only Bavarian tent theater COMOEDIA MUNDI and its 40-year history. Filmmaker Felix Rudolph accompanied the inhabitants of this little cosmos for a year and was given the opportunity to shed light on this special project in depth.


Germany 2024, Katharina Köster, Katrin Nemec, 79 min.
Production: Isabelle Bertolone, David Armati Lechner, Trini Götze

The media call their son the “patient killer.” He was given a life sentence for his numerous crimes. Life goes on for his parents Ulla and Didi Högel but nothing is the same as before. They must accept the bitter truth, figure out how to cope with everyday life and reposition themselves in relation to their child. A compelling, precisely observed film about parenthood and love.


Germany 2023, Moritz Schulz, 92 min.
Producer: Maximilian Becht

POLIZEIAKADEMIE accompanies three people from very different social and ethnic backgrounds to the Berlin Police Academy and shows them on their way through this demanding institution over the course of a year.


Germany 2024, Payman Ghalambor, 152 min.
Producer: Peyman Ghalambor

Told from the perspective of two young Afghan women, Parnia and Zeynab, who fled to Germany from Iran with their families in 2015, the film chronicles the process of adapting to a society that has become their home over a period of seven years and explores how the girls learn to assert themselves as female personalities in their bi-cultural field of tension.


Germany 2024, Klaus Stern, 98 min.
Producer: Klaus Stern

With his company Palantir, businessman Alex Karp created a powerful piece of data analysis software. It provides intelligence service, the military and police investigators with information that can be used to solve crimes or kill people. But what drives the creator of the software – ethical fundamentals or a thirst for power, is he a Faust, a Mephisto or both at the same time? An investigative journey in search of one of Silicon Valley’s most secretive CEOs.


Winning film:

Germany, Venezuela 2023, Juan Camillo Cruz, 92 min.
Producer: Oliver Stoltz

Mismanagement and corruption plunge Venezuela into chaos. Children in particular are suffering hardship. The film shows their harsh reality: violence, drugs, murder and hunger. In Maracaibo two women fight the misery. Carolina’s children’s home is an oasis amid the violence. Kiara flees to Columbia with her children. A film about a country that risks losing an entire generation.

The film at the festival

The winning film VENEZUELA: COUNTRY OF LOST CHILDREN and some of the other nominated films will be screened at the 39th DOK.fest München in May 2024:

2 to 12 May 2024 at the Munich venues
6 to 20 May 2024 @home

The VFF Documentary Film Production Award will be presented at a festive award ceremony with film screening on Tuesday, 7 May 2024 at 8.00 pm at HFF Munich.

Many thanks to our award donor and funder: