Heimspiel Preis (Best Film with Regional Reference)

The Heimspiel Preis, endowed with 2,500 euros for the best film with a regional reference, draws attention to regional filmmaking and puts regional filmmakers in focus. The sponsor of the Heimspiel Preis from this year on is the Braunschweiger Zeitung.




2023: Vanessa Donelly for THE ANGEL IN THE WALL


The 2023 Heimspiel Preis goes to Vanessa Donelly for the film score of Lorenzo Bianchini's film 'L'ANGELO DEI MURI' (THE ANGEL IN THE WALL).

In a film whose strength unfolds in the absence of dialogues, Vanessa's music serves as the heartbeat of the plot and transports the inner world of the main character, Pietro Rossi, embodied by Pierre Richard. Her music speaks of longing, guilt, and sorrow. As a composer, Vanessa possesses the ability to understand the pulse of a scene and to feel the unspoken fears and desires of a character. Fleeting emotions are translated by her into a language that everyone understands: music. In THE ANGEL IN THE WALL, her composition not only accompanies the visuals – it interacts with them. Tonight, we honor Vanessa not only for the beauty she has created in THE ANGEL IN THE WALL. We honor her for her contribution to the art of auditory storytelling and as a wonderful example that the true power of film music lies in its ability to touch the soul and make a cinema visit an experience that resonates - a gift to all who believe in the magic of cinema. We have seen and heard remarkable work that emotionally moved us, made the protagonists relatable, and, above all, told a particularly powerful story. The film score has made an elemental contribution to this. To achieve that is not just talent, but also craftsmanship and hard work – and in our opinion, that deserves an award. We are delighted to present the film composer Vanessa Donelly with the 2023 Home Game Award. Congratulations, dear Vanessa!

The jury 2023

Fitore Muzaqi

Fitore Muzaqi lives as a screenwriter and director in Cologne. She studied Communication Arts MA- Narrative Environments at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts. She is a board member of DDV (German Screenwriters Association) since 2023 and a representative for WIFT Cologne.

Johannes Thomsen

Johannes Thomsen was born in 1981 in Hanover, where he also grew up and went to school. After graduating, he worked as a marketing manager, as a copywriter in advertising agencies in Lower Saxony and Bavaria, and as a freelance film and literary critic for various newspapers. In 2018, Johannes Thomsen and his wife Wiebke opened the Lodderbast Kino in Hanover, which was awarded four Lower Saxony Cinema Program Prizes as well as the German Cinematheque Association Prize and was voted Germany's most popular cinema in 2020.

Radek Wegrzyn

Radek Wegrzyn studied film directing at the HFF "Konrad Wolf" Potsdam-Babelsberg. As a director, his credits include the tragicomedy "Summer in the Countryside" and the documentaries "Violinissimo", "The School on the Magic Mountain" and "Miss Holocaust Survivor". Radek is a member of the German as well as the European Film Academy.

2022: THE ORDINARIES - Denise M'Baye

Germany 2022, 120 min, colour, Director: Sophie Linnenbaum

A fictional film world divided into main characters, supporting characters and outtakes: Here Paula has to prove that she has what it takes to be a main character. She wants a glamorous life with her own storyline - not like her mother, who works as a supporting character in the background. Along the way, Paula encounters contradictions and finds herself on the social fringe - and begins to doubt the story ... THE ORDINARIES is a film about being in the movies: Lavishly shot, narratively and visually bursting with ideas across film history: from special effects to the musical number choreography to the score, which was recorded by the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg. The film was shot in Hanover, among other places. One of the leading roles - Dr. Cooper - is played by Hanover-based actress Denise M'Baye.



In the jury we intensively discussed five highly diverse films - from documentary, feature film to youth film project. The task was to work out why a film should receive the Heimspiel Award - an award for its connection with the region, with Lower Saxony. We warmly congratulate all the nominees and we also congratulate Filmfest Braunschweig, which has staffed our jury exclusively with women - a strong sign!

As the jury, we would first like to give an honourable mention - to the young people of the Propsteijugend Bad Harzburg with Pastor Martin Widiger and Deacon Michael Marintschak for their involvement in the youth film project "Fisch im Fell". The young people have started a sympathetic film project. They succeeded in involving a whole region - from the fire brigade to the professional cameraman. This effort impressed us!

Winner: Denise M'Baye in THE ORDINARIES

The jury of the Home Game Award honours the Hanoverian actress and singer Denise M'Baye, who convinces in a leading role in Sophie Linnenbaum's artistically outstanding film "The Ordinaries". Denise M'Baye acts, sings, dances and inspires the audience with all her talents in one film. "The Ordinaries" is an extraordinary film that was partly shot in Hanover. But it is above all Denise M'Baye who stands for the bond with the region. 

The jury 2022

Franziska Stünkel

Internationally awarded film director, screenwriter and photographer. Her films have been screened at over 200 festivals. Her latest feature film NAHSCHUSS (with Lars Eidinger, among others) opened internationally in cinemas. Her photographs can be seen in museums and galleries.

Anna Deileke

Anna Deileke works full-time as an event planner at the Hallenbad cultural centre in Wolfsburg. Since 2016, the 39-year-old has been curating the stage programme as well as the film selection at the cinema in the Hallenbad. The small cinema is known for its diverse programme and family atmosphere. The trained photographer and communications graduate has lived and worked in Wolfsburg since 2009. The indoor swimming pool is her second home and the passionate cyclist appreciates the region's proximity to the Elm and the Harz mountains - her original home.

Cornelia Köhler

Author, moderator, networker. Active in the media industry since 2000. First as a producer, since 2007 as a freelance scriptwriter and dramaturg for cinema, TV formats and stage. Editor of the magazine "Rundbrief" (Film and Media Office Lower Saxony). Director and screenwriter for a series of documentaries on German literature. Cornelia Köhler is a board member of Women in Film and Television Germany.

Home Game Price 2019-2021

The Heimspiel Award for the best film with a connection to the region, endowed with 1,000 euros, was donated by Volkswagen Financial Services.


Directed by: Marie Schubert

Gudrun wants to celebrate her 60th birthday in the place where she grew up in GDR times. All the residents are invited to the party in the former children's home of the provincial village. On the evening of the celebration, Gudrun learns that the mayor wants to sell the vacant manor house to investors in order to give the village a future. Economic perspective or selling out one's own history? The opinions of the residents differ on this question. For Gudrun, who still feels very attached to this place, this is a loss she does not want to accept. Her struggle for her own past and identity increasingly strains the already difficult relationship with her daughter, who has come from Berlin.


Biography Director: Katharina Marie Schubert, born 1977 in Gifhorn, theater actress at the Munich Kammerspiele and the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Award-winning film actress e.g. in SHOPPEN.

DAS MÄDCHEN MIT DEN GOLDENEN HÄNDEN is her directorial debut feature film.



The film takes us to the near past without seducing us into nostalgia. The setting is a small provincial town in the east of the country in 1999, a time of upheaval that some survived more, others less well.  With an excellent cast, the director has succeeded in telling the struggle for identity, loss and change over two generations in the post-reunification period. Her story is as poetic as the title. This quiet drama in desaturated images at the turn of the millennium in the former GDR is also convincing because of the clear no-frills image design, which gives the film its mood. The intensity with which the director lets her strong protagonists make their decisions, with all the consequences but without solving every mystery, deserves, in the opinion of the jury, the "Heimspiel Award" 2021.

The jury 2021

Sabina Kaluza

Freelance conceptual artist. Born in Bytom, Poland. Studied free art at the HBK Braunschweig, then master student of John Armleder.

Antimo Sorgente

Composer and sound designer. He studied sound art at the HBK Braunschweig and works as a composer for film and theatre.

Dr. Jutta Tränkle

Has been working as a freelance cinematographer and filmmaker for national and international cinema, TV, interactive and art projects since 1999.

2020: RIVALE von Marcus Lenz

Directed by: Marcus Lenz, 96 min.


It was not an easy decision but, in the end, the jury decided unanimously to award the prize to the film drama RIVAL. In particular, the almost magical authenticity of the actresses and actors, brought out by director Marcus Lenz, convinced the jury.

With great skill, the filmmaker explores pressing political themes via a family drama told from the – carefully crafted – perspective of a Ukrainian boy who follows his illegally working mother to Germany. The film captures the audience with its unorthodox, at times provocative imagery. In a unique way, the filmmaker succeeds to use the landscape of Lower Saxony as powerful setting for his film.

Special mention goes to 18-year old director Victor Gütay with his independent film IN MY SHADOW (MEIN SCHATTEN ÜBER MIR). Gütay is an astonishing all-round talent: His multi-facetted and insightful film in which he acted as director, producer, cinematographer, screenwriter, editor, and composer, is a truly remarkable debut. With their special mention, the jury members encourage Gütay to continue his path as filmmaker.


Regie: Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss

Who hasn't seen them, the motorhomes parked along the sides of B1 road to Gifhorn or at highway rest areas? Decorated with red hearts and small lamps, they stand on the edges of fields and forests. Mini-brothels.

Inside them sit the prostitutes - mostly from Eastern Europe or Africa - waiting for their clients. The documentary provides insights into the lives of these women. What leads them to this profession? What are their dreams and hopes? How do they spend their waiting time? Lehrenkrauss worked on this film for three years, gained the trust of her protagonists, and shows their world. Completely nonjudgmental, she provides us with a glimpse into a microcosm on the fringes of society.



Jan Philip Lange:

In "Lovemobil," Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss impressively gives voice to voiceless women by shedding light on the issues within the camper vans parked along the dark country roads of Lower Saxony. In the film, we follow two prostitutes who work in the Lovemobils, which are typical camper vans for the northern heath region of Germany.

Julia Dordel:

The director skillfully weaves the heart-touching stories of these women, portraying them in great detail and depth. Even the owner of the Lovemobils is portrayed with such complexity that throughout the film, one questions whether she is a pimp or a friend to the women. Her own fate clearly illustrates that the world is not just black and white.

Johannes Kienast:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss manages to portray her protagonists with dignity, as the camera discreetly observes the women without being voyeuristic. This achieves an authenticity that suggests the women have completely forgotten about the camera. "Lovemobil" is a homecoming for Braunschweig, as the film was created in this region, and the caravans and camper vans on the edge of the country roads are a typical and everyday sight. Through Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss' film, we, as viewers, gain insights into the lives of the women whose lives unfold there.


Die Goldenen Vier Linden 2016-2018

DIE GOLDENEN VIER LINDEN were awarded for the best film in the "Heimspiel" series from 2016 to 2018.


Director: Gaya Jiji, 96 min.


We were convinced by this drama due to its enchanting, tragicomic effect, its atmospheric cinematic execution, and its timely sociopolitical relevance. The film tells the enigmatic tale of Nahla, a sympathetic and stubborn teenager who daydreams of a better life amidst the budding Syrian civil war in a suburb of Damascus. In a world dominated by men, religion, and political conflicts, the lonely and frustrated Nahla strives to find her place. Her fate mirrors that of the entire nation yearning for freedom. The film is periodically interrupted by sometimes stark (documentary?) original footage of the urban warfront. However, the complex societal backdrop only plays a peripheral role. While Arab daily life is often portrayed one-dimensionally, "My Favourite Fabric" breaks stereotypes and instead illuminates the captivating inner world of the unconventional protagonist and other strong (Syrian) female characters in the film. The word "illuminates" is apt here, as a special play of light and colors enhances the film's magical sensuality, gently, comfortably, unobtrusively, and pleasurably enveloping the viewer. Likewise, the diverse film score by Braunschweig composer Peer Kleinschmidt actively narrates the story and skillfully shifts the perspective - appropriately intense yet restrained and in tune with the settings. Ultimately, the music was the decisive factor in our decision to award the "Heimspiel" Prize.


Director: Nora Fingscheidt, Germany 2017, 115 min.

The jury, consisting of actor, author, and filmmaker Detlef Bothe, director and screenwriter Anna Linke, and last year's winner Lars Jordan, chose the moving documentary by director Nora Fingscheidt. The award comes with a prize of 1,000 euros.


Directed by: Lars Jordan, Germany 2016, 126 min.

The jury, consisting of Cinestrange director Marc Fehse, Leon Kluth from Braunschweig Sommerkino, and blogger Stefanie Krause from, chose the dystopian drama by director Lars Jordan, which had its world premiere in Braunschweig. The award comes with a prize of 1,000 euros.