Martin Mulik


International Portrait Photography Competition

Dresden, famous pioneer city of photography. And nearby: Hellerau, Germany’s first garden city. The Festspielhaus Hellerau has been perched on Dresden’s “Green Hill” for over 100 years. Since 2015, it has been hosting the PORTRAITS – Hellerau Photography Award.

Here, photographers from all over the world apply, translating the themes of our time into portraits. Their works are shown in the Festspielhaus and, since 2017, at other extraordinary locations across the Saxon capital: in small galleries, abandoned industrial buildings, in studios, museums and off-spaces. Over the past four years, we have presented more than three hundred photographers from more than forty countries in 30 different exhibitions.

Two jurors of the first PORTRAITS competition, photographer Matthias Creutziger and art historian Dr Katja Schumann have summed up what the Hellerau jury is looking for:

  1. At best, photos should emphasize the character of the model, being true ‘psychograms’…
  2. We expect a new visual language that tries to disrupt any former paradigm.
  3. We want to feel what kind of photographer is behind the camera, too.
  4. We don’t understand fashion photography, neither old nor new.
  5. Sheer professionalism is too little.
  6. Mere beauty is not enough.
  7. We expect true passion – through the medium of photography.



1st Prize
5,000 EUR

2nd Prize
2,000 EUR

3rd Prize
1,000 EUR

4th Prize

Invitations to various solo exhibitions in Dresden



In 2022, we organised individual satellite shows in addition to the »Big Annual Exhibition« in the Dresden city center. Starting in April 2022, the Festspielhaus Hellerau featured the works of the 2021 residency prize-winner Natalia Kepesz (Poland) side by side with the works of the latest residency prize-winner, Svante Gullichsen (Finland).