The next winner is Michael Verhoeven. He is not only a director, but also an author, producer, actor – and husband of Senta Berger.


Director Michael Verhoeven receives the Helmut-Käutner Prize 2022 from the national capital Düsseldorf.

The city announced on Saturday that it was a tribute to Verhoeven’s critical view of German history. His work includes the 1982 film “The White Rose” about the Scholl siblings and their resistance to the Nazi regime. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for 1990’s The Terrible Girl.

The award commemorates Düsseldorf-born director Helmut Käutner (1908-1980). Since 1982, it has been awarded to personalities who “through their work strongly support and influence the development of German film culture”. The prize, worth 10,000 euros, is due to be awarded in May 2022. Previous winners are Caroline Link, Margarethe von Trotta, Ulrich Tukur, Christian Petzold, Wim Wenders and Hildegard Knef.

Verhoeven, who is now 83 and has received numerous awards, also works as a writer, producer and actor. He is married to actress Senta Berger.

The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW said that with Verhoeven, Düsseldorf pays homage to a director who shaped German cinema from the 1960s to the present day. The creative spectrum of his work ranges from feature films and documentaries to popular television series. “But its central theme deals with National Socialism, which is again urgently needed today,” said Petra Müller, jury member and managing director of the Filmstiftung NRW.

According to the city, the future winner has received notification of the award. Verhoeven explained: “I am particularly happy about this honor because I got to know Helmut Käutner personally and was able to work with him”. Käutner rose to prominence with films such as “The Great Freedom No. 7”, “Under the Bridges” and “Des Teufels General”. (dpa)