Sonja Heiss

Sonja Heiss studied at Munich’s Academy for Television and Film from 1998-2006. She now lives in Berlin. Her second film "Karma Cowboy" was shown at several international festivals and received awards at the Film Festival Visions du Réel in Nyon (Prix Regards Neufs) as well as at the Munich Film Festival (Bavarian Documentary Film Award). Her third short film "Christina without Kaufmann" won the FFA’s Short Tiger Award.

"Hotel Very Welcome", her first feature film, was also her final film at the academy. After its first showing in the section Perspective German Cinema at the Berlinale in 2007, her debut film won the First Steps Award, the Audience Award and a Special Award at the Festival of German Films in Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, as well as the Prix Cinédécouvertes at the European Film Festival in Brussels. It was shown at several international festivals and selected to be a Varitey Critics’ Choice in 2007 in Karlovy Vary. At the end of 2007 "Hotel Very Welcome" was released and shown in cinemas all over Germany. A short time later it was released in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain.

Sonja Heiss worked as a casting director in advertising from 1998 to 2004. In 2003 she began directing commercials. Starting in 2005 she began working together with Jan Bonny as a team: Sonny & Bonny.

In 2011 she published her first and highly regarded volume of short stories "Das Glück geht aus" by Berlin Verlag / Bloomsbury.

Sonja Heiss has received a scholarship from Villa Aurora (Los Angeles), which is supported by the Department for Foreign Affairs and the BKM, for her screenplay "Mother’s Little Helpers" (WT). The project was funded by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media. With HEDI SCHNEIDER IS STUCK which premiered at the Berlinale 2015 in the Forum section she won the Hessische Film- und Kinopreis for Best Fiction Feature in 2014.


"Hedi Schneider is stuck", Feature film (Screenplay, Director)


"Hotel Very Welcome", Feature film (Screenplay, Director, Producer)


"Christina without Kaufmann", Short film (Screenplay and Director)


"Karma Cowboy", Short film (Screenplay and Director in cooperation with Vanessa van Houten)


"Schnell und Sauber", Short film (Screenplay and Director)