For the ninth time, the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the Wim Wenders Foundation awarded the Wim Wenders Grant. The award ceremony was held at the LAVAlabs Moving Images creative studio in Düsseldorf-Flingern. The renowned grant, which is awarded annually with a total of 100,000 Euros, enables young filmmakers to develop their innovative project ideas.

The jury – consisting of Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Mirko Derpmann, Creative Director, Scholz & Friends Agenda, and Chairman Wim Wenders – selected five projects from a total of thirty-eight applications. The decisive factors in their decision were quality of material and a persuasive visual concept.

Jury Chairman Wim Wenders: “In this ninth year, the jury for the Wim Wenders Grant of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW has once again examined extremely diverse submissions, thirty in all, from all across Germany. We grant awards to promising projects with existential and contemporary themes so that filmmakers have the time to explore their cinematographic language and content and can fully develop their narrative potential. Congratulations to the 2022 grantees and thank you to all applicants for your confidence!”

“The double life of a Turkish mother, liminal worlds between life and death, Ukrainian family traumas, the world of Filipino workers on cruise ships and a teenager in a coma after a suicide attempt: this year, applicants’ ideas were exceptionally diverse in terms of both form and content – dystopian and surreal, often hybrid – but always idiosyncratic and special,” said Petra Müller, CEO of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. “It is gratifying that so many women submitted cinematic concepts. We wish all the grantees every success in developing their material.”


“Heute ist Mutter gestorben” [Today Mother Died] by Cem Kaya True crime story about the fate of an uprooted woman, 25,000 Euros

Cem Kaya won the Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama Audience Award with his film-foundation-funded documentary about the music of first generation Turkish migrants in Germany, “Love, Deutschmarks and Death”. In “Heute ist Mutter gestorben” the filmmaker accompanies two teenagers who, in the course of investigating the cause of their mother’s death, stumble upon the tragic double life of the Turkish widow.

„Sol“ by Su-Jin Song A surreal coming-of-age film between live action and 2D/3D animation, 20,000 euros

Düsseldorf-based writer, director and producer (autumn song production) Su-Jin Song is an ifs graduate and completed a master degree in Game Development and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. So it is no surprise that she chose a hybrid form for “Sol” featuring live action and an animated world. Sol is in a coma after a suicide attempt. The film descends into the depths of her unconscious and focuses on themes such as mother-daughter relationships, social pressures and teenagers’ psychological problems.

„Zum Knochen“ [To the Bone] by Simon Steinhorst, Hannah Stragholz, Olivia Schröder von Lüttichau Two people bartering in the liminal world between life and death, 20,000 euros

Academy of Media Arts Cologne graduate and actor Simon Steinhorst founded Studio Corallo in Cologne in 2018 together with artist (master student of Katharina Grosse) and animator Hannah Stragholz. Their film-foundation-funded short “Doom Cruise” won a gold award at the German Short Film Award 2021. The screenplay was written by Berlin-based author and set designer Olivia Schrøder von Lüttichau. With their artistic animated film “Zum Knochen”, the trio follows two people into the liminal world between life and death, existence and non-existence. One wants to live, the other wants to die. They enter into a fateful exchange…

„Geschichten in der Dunkelheit“ [Stories in the Dark] by Tatjana Kononenko Of Ukrainian trauma in an age of war, 20,000 euros

The term Holodomor pertains to what many call Joseph Stalin’s genocide, the famine in Ukraine that killed millions in 1932-33. It is also the subject of director Maryanna Nenko, who is preparing a film about her family’s silent trauma after the Holodomor events when war breaks out in her homeland. Such is the film concept of Tatjana Kononenko, a Ukrainian filmmaker living in Berlin and Tbilisi who deals with two homeland traumas at once – one past and one present. Kononenko studied Media and Communication at Berlin University of the Arts and Film Directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin.

„Below Deck“ by TÒ SU alias Martina Mahlknecht und Martin Prinoth 180° hybrid about Filipino workers on cruise ships, 15,000 euros

The German-Italian filmmaking duo TÒ SU (Rhaeto-Romanic for indexing, recording, documenting), Hamburg set designer and artist Martina Mahlknecht and HFBK graduate Martin Prinoth, immerse themselves in their documentary-feature hybrid in the unknown world of Filipino low-wage workers on cruise ships. The film speaks of the dreams and fears of the below-deck crew in the booming, aspirational cruise industry.

Foto: (c) Claire Brunel