Hanna Maria Heidrich is one of the most successful national and international advertising film directors of recent years. The Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg graduate has won numerous prizes, including not one, but two PORSCHE AWARDs ("We Miss You", 2011; "Life Is Calling", 2012). However, it is not the list of festival awards that make this filmmaker so special, but her unique style.
“On the long term I want to make films that go beyond what you see. I was always fascinated by the power of images and how film can evoke emotions. On a small scale I try to bring this element into my advertising work, making sure that my films, no matter how stylized, still feel personal and human.”
Hanna Maria knew from an early age that she either wanted to do work in the artistic or social fields, and after a period of different work experiences in the film industry she decided to pursue a career as a director. At the age of 21 she began to study Directing with a special focus on Advertising Film at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, while gaining as much experience as possible in feature film at the same time. She wrote and directed a 45-min sci-fi series pilot and attended a theatre school in London in order to sharpen her skills as a director.
“One of the steps I enjoy most about the filmmaking process is the work with the actors. The rehearsing time is a step that really fascinates me. I love the collaborative approach and how you evolve the story together.“
Hanna already demonstrated a capacity for thoughtful stories during her study course with “We Miss You”, a social spot that focuses on the connection between mankind and nature, and which was awarded a PORSCHE AWARD in 2011.
“Of course it was great to be honoured by such an experienced jury. But what I found particularly moving was the film’s reception by the public. We received a lot of messages from people who had been moved by the film. Seeing how other people connected with something I came up with in my small student apartment was super inspiring.“
Hanna Maria believes it’s a good thing that the PORSCHE AWARD is becoming more international, especially for those directors who have set themselves the goal of working outside Germany. The awards she won brought her to the attention of production companies at an early stage, which helped her to make the leap into the industry. By now, Hanna is a well-established figure in the advertising world, and she works with famous Hollywood stars, rock legends and Formula 1 world champions. Her Pepsi Super Bowl spot was seen by an audience of many millions.
What advice would she give to those who want to succeed in the industry? Trust your intuition and develop the courage to turn down projects that don’t feel right for you. It’s better to focus your energy on a heart project than on a job that you’re not passionate about.
In the end it’s all about following your inner voice.