New award as of 2022: Documentary Film Award of Goethe-Institut


The documentary film award of the Goethe-Institut honours an outstanding German documentary film of the current year. On 30 October 2021 it was awarded to REPUBLIC OF SILENCE by Diana El Jeiroudi at DOK Leipzig. From 2022 there will be a renewal: the prize will then be awarded alternately in Munich, Leipzig, Duisburg and Kassel.

The Goethe-Institut is a worldwide ambassador for German film. 158 Goethe-Instituts in 98 countries show the latest developments in German cinematic art. Due to its special film aesthetic and its versatility, German documentary film has always been a permanent fixture in the Goethe-Institut's repertoire. Documentaries tell real stories, portray personalities, ask questions about social upheavals and deal intensively with social and societal issues.

The documentary film of the Goethe-Institut is endowed with 2,000 euros. In addition, the Goethe-Institut acquires the non-commercial worldwide screening rights of the film. In addition to primarily cinematic criteria, the film should have a reference to Germany in connection with an intercultural or global perspective. From 2022 onwards, the Documentary Film Award will be presented in rotation at four different documentary film festivals. The new procedure will start in May 2022 at DOK.fest München and will then take place at the DOK Leipzig festival, the Duisburg Film Week and the Kassel Dokfest alternately.

Award-winning film 2021

This year, the documentary film prize of the Goethe-Institut was awarded to the film REPUBLIC OF SILENCE by Diana El Jeiroudi at the Leipzig International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film. With a radically personal view, the director assembles different fragments from her life into an intimate cinematic diary. In doing so, she allows us an insight into Syria's conflict-ridden history of the last 40 years that overwrites the stereotypical images conveyed by the media and thus allows an alternative approach. She uncompromisingly exposes the audience to their injuries and traumas, but also to the violence of war. In a virtuoso montage, she weaves together the diverse possibilities offered by the medium of film. A plea to the world public to be aware and not to remain silent in the face of war and dictatorship.

The jury

The 2021 jury consists of film experts from the Goethe-Institut, this year Marina May, Maren Willkomm (both head office of the Goethe-Institut in Munich) and Julian Volz (Goethe-Institut Belgium).

More information:



Renate Heilmeier
Advisor Department Film
Goethe-Institut Zentrale
Mobil: 0049 89 15921 354

Viola Noll
Dep. Press Officer / Head Office
Mobil: 0049 160 96 99 09 95

DOK.fest München

Dr. Dominik Petzold
Head of Press