Golden Hercules

Regional Competition

The Golden Hercules awards an outstanding production from the region of Northern Hesse. The prize is endowed with 3,500 €. 2023, 135 works have been submitted for the section. The selection committee selected 28 and nominated 17 of them. They range from animated films, committed documentaries over experimental video works to ambitious short fiction films. 

Eligible for the regional competition are works:  

  • whose directors reside in North Hesse, or
  • whose directors are studying at the University of Kassel, the Kunsthochschule Kassel, or a comparable media institution in North Hesse, or
  •  which were realized and produced in Northern Hesse.  

Out of all the films shown in the section Golden Hercules, a jury nominates a selection for the Golden Hercules award. It is possible for an outstanding documentary work from the section Golden Hercules to be nominated for the Golden Key competition, or rather the Golden Key award.

Jury 2023

Aria Azizi was born in Herat, Afghanistan. There he studied Persian miniature painting. Aria studied film and television at the University of Arts in Kassel. His short films are screened at international film festivals. He ist part of NUR film group and founder of YALfilm Production. Currently he is a recipient of the Hessen Film & Medien STEP Autor*innenstipendium. His film "When God's Blood Dripped Onto the Children's Shoulders" received an honorable mention from the 2022 Golden Hercules Jury.

Clemens Camphausen, one of three managing directors of Machbar GmbH, has cancelled his participation in this year's Tour de France in order to be able to concentrate fully on the Dokfest.

Bettina Fraschke is head of the culture department of the Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine Newspaper. Her main focus is on film and theatre.

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Jan Sauerwald, curator and cultural manager, is the director and head of programs of GRIMMWELT Kassel gGmbH since May 2022. He has held various positions in the art and culture industry in Berlin: including director of the URBAN NATION Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, head of the artistic office of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, head of the artist studio Elmgreen & Dragset, and project manager at the DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Program.

Foto: Victoria Tomaschko

Gitta Severloh is an editor for the Hessischer Rundfunk (Hessian broadcasting). She was the editor of „aspekte“ (ZDF) and worked as a film author, editor, moderator and producer for multiple formats in TV stations in Germany (SWR, SFB, 3sat, DW-tv). Since 2003 she has been living in Frankfurt where she successfully produced the cultural magazine titel, thesen, temperamente (ARD) for15 years. She worked as a reporter at Berlinale film festival with a focus on documentary film.

Award Winners

2023: Petra Stipetić und Maren Wiese: The Scent of Beetroot and the People who Live Forever

2022 Mo Harawe: Will My Parents Come to See Me

2021 Joey Arand: La sorsier kabiné

2020 Manuel Domes und Jean Claire Dy: A House in Pieces  

2019 Franziska Wank: sunday morning

2018 Frauke Lodders: Inseparable

2017 Jonatan Schwenk: Sog

2016 Christian Wittmoser: Emily Must Wait

2015 Zuniel Kim: Der Langstreckenläufer

2014 Martin Schmidt: Emil

2013 Benjamin Brix, Steffen Martin, Felix M. Ott: EMPTYLANDS

2012 Jan Riesenbeck: Sechster Sinn, drittes Auge, zweites Gesicht

2011 Dennis Stein-Schomburg: Andersartig

2010 Olaf Saumer: Suicide Club

2009 Thomas Majewski: Verborgen in Schnuttenbach

2008 Nico Sommer: Stiller Frühling

2007 Marta Malowanczyk: Marla

2006 Hyekung Jung: Drawing the Line

2005 Matthias Stockloew (Ütz): Grosse Kinder

2004 Héctor Jesús Gutiérrez Rodriguez: Ese es mi chama? Das ist mein Junge

2003 Salah Ahmed El Oulidi: Die Andalusische Nacht

2002 Christoph Steinau: Kommt alles Anders

2001 Holger Ernst: Kleine Fische