German Composition Funding Award – sponsored by Sonoton Music

In order to strengthen the artistic collaboration between filmmakers and composers, the best musical concept for a documentary film will be endowed with 2,500 euros

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.

You can find the five nominated projects here.


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.

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Gerd Baumann
Composer and musician (Hochschule für Musik und Theater München)

Gerd Baumann is a German composer and musician. He studied guitar and composition in Munich and Los Angeles. He has written numerous theatre scores, since 2006 mainly film music, was nominated several times for the German Film Award and won it for the film music for WER FRÜHER STIRBT IST LÄNGER TOT. Together with director Marcus H. Rosenmüller he published the poetry collection "Wenn nicht wer Du" and plays as a guitarist, composer and singer with the band "Dreiviertelblut". Baumann is co-founder of the record label "MILLAPHON Records" and runs the Munich live club "MILLA". Since 2013, Gerd Baumann has been head of the Composition for Film and Media course at the Munich University of Music and Theatre.

Cristofer Frank
Producer, Composer, Engineer (Cristofer Frank)

After graduating from high school in Graz, Austria in 1992, he trained as a sound designer and sound engineer at the Center for Recording Arts in Orlando, Florida. He works as a freelance producer/composer/engineer in Vienna and Graz. Together with his fellow musicians Klemens Bittmann and Christian Bakanic, he is the winner of the German Documentary Film Award 2020.

Sabine Gisiger
Professor for Documentary Film (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste)

Born in Zurich in 1959. In 1989 she trained as a television journalist at Swiss Television and then worked for years as a reporter in Switzerland and abroad. Sabine Gisiger has been making documentaries as a freelance filmmaker since 1990. In 2000, her documentary film DO IT, which she made together with Marcel Zwingli, caused an international sensation. with Marcel Zwingli, caused an international sensation and was awarded the Film Prize for the best Swiss documentary film. With the feature films GAMBIT (2005), GURU (2010) and YALOM'S CURE(2014), all nominated for the Swiss Film Award, she had further international cinema successes. After DÜRRENMATT - EINE LIEBESGESCHICHTE (2015) und WILLKOMMEN IN DER SCHWEIZ (2017) at the moment she is working on her hybrid feature documentary LOVING MIES.

Alexander Kukelka
(Composer, conductor, pianist, author, director, music supervisor)

Born in Klement, Lower Austria, Kukelka went to Vienna to study, composition and conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and jazz piano at the Vienna Conservatory. From 1987 to 1990 he was first pianist in the orchestra of the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien and completed several guest performances, commissions and performances at home and abroad. In 1999 he founded the Verein Neues Wiener MusikTheater and created an author-musical theatre of his own character. Since 2002 he has taught at the University of Music and Performing Arts/Film Academy Vienna and since 2014 he has been president of the Austrian Composers' Association (ÖKB) and chairman of the Film & Media Music Section.

Michaela Meliàn
Artist and musician, Professor for Time-Related Media (Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg)

Michaela Melián, visual artist and musician, lives in Munich and Hamburg. She is a member of the band F.S.K. Since 2010 she has been teaching as a professor for time-related media at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK). 
Her multimedia installations and works with sound have been exhibited at the Lenbachhaus Munich, Fundació Juan Miró Barcelona, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Lentos Museum Linz, Cubitt London and Ludlow New York, among others. In 2010, she was commissioned by the city of Munich to create Memory Loops, an acoustic memorial to the victims of National Socialism. In 2014, Melián was nominated for the "best film score" category at the German Film Awards with her score for Frauke Finsterwalder's feature film FINSTERWORLD.