The eponym of the award is Douglas Sirk, who was born as Hans Detlef Sierck in Hamburg. He emigrated to the USA in 1937 and initially tried his luck as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Sirk celebrated his first success as a director with the melodrama 'Summer Storm'. In the following years, he filmed other successful films from this genre, including Written on the Wind, A Time to Love and a Time to Die and Imitation of Life.
Clint Eastwood (1995), Stephen Frears (1996), Jodie Foster (1997), Peter Weir (1998), Jim Jarmusch (1999), Wong Kar-Wai (2000), Majid Majidi (2001), Aki Kaurismäki (2002), Isabelle Huppert (2003), François Ozon (2004), Zentropa (2005), Gérard Depardieu (2006), David Cronenberg (2007), Atom Egoyan (2008), Julian Schnabel (2010), Andreas Dresen, Peter Rommel (2011), Kim Ki-duk (2012), Tilda Swinton (2013), Fatih Akin (2014), Catherine Deneuve (2015), Wim Wenders (2017), Jafar Panahi (2018), Nina Hoss (2019)