DEFA Foundation Awards

In order to promote German film art and film culture, the DEFA Foundation offers the following annual prizes amounting to 40,000 Euro:

The prizes have been awarded since 2001. This page archives the acceptance speeches. They contain living German film history with touching personal anecdotes. For example: Andreas Dresen talks about Wolfgang Kohlhaase; Rainer Rother pays tribute to the life and work of Romuald Karmarkas; or Lars Eidinger effused about working with Maren Ade.

Award winners in recent years were (among others) Fatih Akin, Christian Petzold, Jutta Hoffmann, Armin Mueller-Stahl and several others.

Award winners

Thomas Stuber

Thomas Stuber on Nov 18, 2016 © Reinhardt & Sommer

Armin Mueller-Stahl und Jutta Hoffmann

Jutta Hoffmann and Armin Mueller-Stahl at the DEFA Foundation’s 5th Awards Ceremony on November 24, 2005 Photography: Annett Ahrends

What is awarded?

  • Lifetime Achievement Award in Film: 10,000 Euro
  • Award for Outstanding Achievements in German Cinema: 10,000 Euro
  • Funding Award for New Talents in Cinema: 5,000 Euro
  • Three Program Awards: 5,000 Euro each

Proposals for individual awards can be submitted to the DEFA Foundation by members of the foundation council and selected cinematic art and cultural institutions.

A jury will be formed that will decide on the award recipients. In recent years, awards have been given at an event in November.

2018 Award Winners

18th Awards Ceremony

On November 30, 2018, the Foundation awarded its prizes to author Helga Schütz, filmmaker and dramaturg Tamara Trampe, and director Jan Zabeil. Here you will find information for all award recipients, laudations, and photos.

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