The DEFA Foundation awards a total of 15,000 Euro annually across Germany.

The award is given to exceptional young German filmmakers, directors, or screenwriters, who, through their work, make innovative contributions to how film engages with the present day.

The awards are one of the Foundation’s contributions for the promotion of German cinema.


  • Filmfest Dresden – International Short Film Festival (3,000 Euro)
  • FILMKUNSTFEST MV in Schwerin (4,000 Euro)
  • International Film Festival for Children and Young Audiences in Chemnitz (4,000 Euro)
  • DOK Leipzig – International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (4,000 Euro)
  • Max Ophüls Prize Film Festival (4,000 Euro, until 2015)

It is the responsibility of the jury at the respective festivals to give the awards.

Nikita Diakur

Award Winners 2019

Awards at Filmfestivals

In Schwerin, Dresden, Leipzig and Chemnitz, young filmmakers will once again be given the DEFA Foundation's awards this year.

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