Audience Award "The Heinrich"

DER HEINRICH is the Braunschweig International Film Festival’s audience award for European debut and second films.

The viewers select the winner out of 10 nominated films. At the beginning of each screening, the audience receives ballots awarding 1 to 4 (4 is the highest voting) points to the film.

The best rated film director wins the statuette DER HEINRICH. The prize money of 10,000 € is equally divided between the director and the German distributor (or production company).

The Winners


German premiere, France 2021, 102 min, colour, directed by Fabien Gorgeart

Anna lives with her husband, her two young sons and Simon - a child who has been placed with them by the Youth Welfare Office since he was 18 months old and is now six. One day Simon's father declares that he wants custody of his son back. It is heartbreaking, but Anna knows she must help Simon to live with his loving father again.
For director Fabien Gorgaert, this film is "a lot about love, but that love will spill over everywhere, even beyond the frame". THE FAMILY is an impressive melodrama, often very funny and always subtle, carried by the wonderful cast:inside.

Biography Director: After making a name for himself in theatre as an assistant director, Fabien Gorgeart made six short films between 2007 and 2016, all of which won awards at numerous festivals worldwide. THE FAMILY is his second feature film.



Director: Jan Holoubek, German premiere, Poland 2020, 112 min, color



Tomasz Komenda (Piotr Trojan) is unexpectedly arrested one day in 2000 and charged and convicted of rape and murder on New Year's Eve 1996/97, although twelve people can give him an alibi. Desperately, his mother fights to get him out of prison again. Hope is raised a year later by an appeal process to set the record straight.

A very dense and grippingly narrated (and award-winning) film that shows Holoubek's documentary experience: everyday life in prison, helplessness and arbitrariness of justice, as well as social abysses are shown relentlessly. And when you think you see a ray of hope, everything only gets worse.


2020: The Dazzled

Directed by Sarah Suco, France 2019, 89 min.


14-year-old Camille, her three younger siblings and her loving parents lead a happy life in a small French town until they join a religious congregation that gradually exerts more and more influence on their family life. For example, Camille is no longer allowed to wear black paint or attend her beloved circus school. Torn between her family and what is becoming increasingly bizarre for her, Camille must quickly grow up.

The exciting story is based on the director's personal experiences as a child and is carried by strong actors.

Biography Director: Born in Montpellier in 1981. Master student at the Paris School of Drama, then actress (theater and film) and also playwright. THE DAZZLED is her 1st feature film as director.


Director: Anke Blondé, Belgium/Netherlands 2019, 106 min.


Dorien has everything –  two children, a husband, her own veterinary practice. But suddenly everything is different: her mother has been having an affair for years. She is caught between a rock and a hard place. An unexpected event makes Dorien stop and think. Her husband doesn't listen to her –  is there something going on between him and his female colleague? Dorien has to ask herself what is important to her. Start all over again at the age of 36? Does she still have time to realize her dreams? What really were her dreams? Turbulent, chaotic, comical, Dorien, brilliantly played by Kim Snauwaert in her first film, navigates her way from situation to situation back to herself.


Director:  Rohena Gera, France/India 2018, 130 Min.

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An apartment in Mumbai: the young widow Ratna works as a domestic servant for the wealthy Ashwin. While he seemingly possesses everything to be happy, Ratna is fighting full of hope for her dream of becoming a fashion designer. Although both live in different, irreconcilable worlds, they come closer - their attachment, however, threatens to fail due to the traditional social barriers. ”I had the idea of dealing with the issue of class differences in India which has preoccupied me for years, and of exploring it by a love story”, is what director Rohena Gera says about her feature film debut, wonderfully understanding, cheerful and serious at the same time.


Director: Darren Thornton, Ireland 2016, 82 Min.

with Seána Kerslake, Charleigh Bailey, Tara Lee, Denise McCormack, Siobhán Shanahan 

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When Mary returns from a short spell in prison, everything has changed: her best friend Charlene is about to celebrate her dream wedding. Angry young woman Mary, who is as stubborn as she is vulnerable, wants to get everything right this time. First of all, she has to find somebody to accompany her to the celebration. However, her dating attempts turn out to be pretty much of a disaster and soon emotional chaos rages within her. But then Mary meets the musician Jess, everything changes... Wonderful tragicomedy with irony and humour about friendship, love, letting go and starting anew with an irresistible, superb leading actor. 2017 Irish Film & Television Award for the best Irish film.


Director:  Joost van Ginkel, Netherlands / Sweden / Bulgaria 2015, 123 Min.

with Anjela Nedyalkova, Boris Isakovic, Erik Adelöw, Issaka Sawadogo, Jasna Djuricic, Magnus Krepper

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Amsterdam - here cross the paths of several people, who for very different reasons end up in the Dutch capital: The young Bulgarian Jenya, whose trip to the West is different to what she expected or Yaya from Africa, who somehow muddles through. A Serbian war criminal`s past catches up with him. Whereas Seka from Bosnia can`t forget the past and is out for revenge. And then there is Lukas, the little piano virtuoso from Sweden. Fantastic ensemble of actors and a masterfully interwoven story, which keeps us engrossed until the last minute and shows the at times unscrupulous society we live in.

2015: 4 KÖNIGE

Director: Theresa von Eltz, D 2015, 98 Min.
with Clemens Schick, Paula Beer, Jella Haase, Jannis Niewöhner
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Christmas, festival of love and reflection? The youngsters,Lara, Alex und Fedja, have all had their experiences with this. They spend the Christmas days in a youth psychiatric ward because at home the conflicts in their families only escalate. Psychiatrist Dr Wolf, controversial for his unconventional methods, bring them together with Timo, an aggressive youth that has a tendency become violent. Each one has his own story but they do not just have to cope with themselves but also with each other. The experiment seems to be failing, but then unexpected group dynamics begin to develop and it becomes a moving and exceptional Christmas for all of them.

2014: LA BELLE VIE (The Good Life)

Director: Jean Deniszot, F 2013, 93 min
with Zacharie Chasseriaud, Jules Pélissier, Solène Rigot, Nicolas Bouchaud
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Ten years Yves kidnapped his two sons. Ever since they live a reclusive life in the Pyrenees. But the kids have grown up and want to pursue their own dreams. Like a western, the film tells the story of their escape from the mountains in Southern France to the banks of the Loire river.


Director: Dan Heartley, GB 2013, 96 min
with Nancy Clarkson, Bretten Lord, Molly Mc Glynn u.a.
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When Tom’s father dies, his world falls apart. The boy, who lives with his mother and brother in the Yorkshire Dales, ends up at odds with the law. All this changes, however, when Tom is given community service with the National Park ranger, Al Thrope. In the process, the two individuals develop a deep friendship.

2012: HEADWINDS (Des vents contraires)

Director: Jalil Lespert, F 2011,  91 Min.
with Benoît Magimel, Isabelle Carré, Boulli Lanners, Audrey Tautou
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Paul’s life is turned upside down the day that his wife Sarah suddenly disappears. After a year he spent searching in vain, Paul moves back to Saint Malo, his home town, with his two children. Unexpected encounters will shape this new start in ways he never imagined. German premiere.

2011: WHAT ARE BEARS FOR? (Para que sirve un oso?)

Director: Tom Fernández, E 2011, 100 Min.
with Geraldine Chaplin, Javier Cámara, Gonzalo de Castro, Emma Suárez
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2010: ILLEGAL (Illégal)

Direcotr: Olivier Masset-Depasse, B/LUX/F 2010, 95 Min.
with Anne Coesens, Esse Lawson, Christelle Cornil
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2009: THE CLOWN (Pa-Ra-Da)

Director: Marco Pontecorvo, I 2008, 100 Min.
with Jalil Lespert, Evita Ciri, Gabi Rauta
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2008: CONCRETE ROMANCE (Cemento Armato)

Director: Marco Martani, I 2007, 93 Min.
with Carolina Crescentini, Nicolas Vaporidis, Giorgio Faletti
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2007: TRUST ME

Director: Andrew Kazamia, GB 2006, 90 Min.
with C. Pendergast, Enn Reitel, W. Ave Zoli
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2006: Four Minutes

Director: Chris Kraus, D 2006, 111 Min.
mit Hannah Herzsprung, Monica Bleibtreu
Zum Trailer


Director: Shimmy Marcus, IRL 2004, 85 Min.
with Wuzza Conlon, Steven Berkhoff, Laura Pyper, Huey Morgan
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Director: Peter Luisi, CH 2004, 90 Min.
with Pablo Aguilar, Sandra Schlegel, Simon Desbordes
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2003: FROM HEAVEN (Quand tu descendras du ciel)

Director: Éric Guirado, F 2003, 100 Min.
with Benoît Giros, Serge Riaboukine, Jean-Francois Gallotte

2002: SLADKE SANJE (Sweet dreams)

Director: Saso Podgorsek, SLO 2001, 110 Min.
with Janko Mandic, Veronika Drolc, Ive Zupancic


Director: Buket Alakus, D 2000, 81 min
with Nursel Köse, Saskia Vester, Audrey Motaung


Director: Brigitte Müller, D 1999/2000, 98 min
with Frank Giering, Steffen Wink, Catherine Fleming, Uwe Steimle

1999: DE POOLSE BRUID (The Polish Bride)

Director: Karim Traïdia, NL 1998, 90 Min.
with Jaap Spijkers, Monic Hendricks, Rudi Falkenhagen, Roef Ragas