Der Heinrich (Best Film in the Main Competition – Audience Award)

Audience Award "Der Heinrich"

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

Since 1999, "The Heinrich" Audience Award has been presented for a European debut or second film in the main competition.
The prize money of €10,000 is generously sponsored by the festival's main sponsor, Volkswagen Financial Services.mpany).

The Winners


Directed by: Veerle Baetens, Belgium/Netherlands, 2023, 113 min, TRAILER

Eva is a reserved young woman who is unable to have a relationship. Little by little, the story of her childhood is revealed: Flashbacks (young Eva is played superbly by Rosa Marchant) show the merciless relationships of teenagers among one another, Eva's struggle for acceptance, and the comprehension of physical changes. But Eva is alone with all her problems. She experiences only rejection from her mother, and her father is powerless against his alcoholic wife.

The book by Lize Spit, which is also available in German, was adapted into a screenplay after many years of work. The result is a film that mercilessly shows the cruelty of childish egocentricity and continues to resonate for a long time.

Director's Biography:Veerle Baetens premiered her directorial debut WHEN IT MELTS at the Sundance Film Festival. She is previously known as an actress and singer. For the role of Elise in THE BROKEN CIRCLE she won the European Film Award for Best Actress in 2013.



Directed by: Fabien Gorgeart, Germany/France 2021, 102 min. TRAILER

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.


Directed by: Jan Holoubek, Poland 2020, 112 min. TRAILER

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. TRAILER

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.


Directed by: Anke Blondé, Belgium/Netherlands 2019, 106 min. TRAILER

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.


Directed by: Rohena Gera, France/India 2018, 130 min. TRAILER

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.


Directed by: Darren Thornton, Ireland 2016, 82 min. TRAILER

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.


Directed by: Joost van Ginkel, Netherlands/ Sweden/ Bulgaria 2015, 123 min. TRAILER

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

Directed by: Theresa von Eltz, Germany 2015, 98 min. TRAILER

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)

Directed by: Jean Denizot, France 2013, 93 min. TRAILER

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.


Directed by: Dan Heartley, Great Britain 2013, 96 min. TRAILER

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)

Directed by: Jalil Lespert, France 2011,  91 min. TRAILER

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?)

Directed by: Tom Fernández, Spain 2011, 100 min. TRAILER

2010: ILLEGAL (Illégal)

Directed by: Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium/Luxembourg/France 2010, 95 min. TRAILER

2009: THE CLOWN (Pa-Ra-Da)

Directed by: Marco Pontecorvo, Italy 2008, 100 min. TRAILER

2008: CONCRETE ROMANCE (Cemento Armato)

Director: Marco Martani, Italy 2007, 93 min. TRAILER

2007: TRUST ME

Director: Andrew Kazamia, Great Britain 2006, 90 min. TRAILER

2006: Four Minutes

Directed by: Chris Kraus, Germany 2006, 111 min. TRAILER


Directed by: Shimmy Marcus, Ireland 2004, 85 min. TRAILER


Directed by: Peter Luisi, Switzerland 2004, 90 min. TRAILER

2003: FROM HEAVEN (Quand tu descendras du ciel)

Directed by: Éric Guirado, France 2003, 100 min.

2002: SLADKE SANJE (Sweet dreams)

Directed by: Saso Podgorsek, Slovenia 2001, 110 min.


Directed: Buket Alakus, Germany 2000, 81 min.


Director: Brigitte Müller, Germany 1999/2000, 98 min.

1999: DE POOLSE BRUID (The Polish Bride)

Directed by: Karim Traïdia, Netherlands 1998, 90 Min.