This award is presented to an outstanding national or international artistic personality who has achieved distinction at a young age through versatility and achievements in a variety of cultural disciplines. The 10,000 euros in prize money are sponsored by media publishing executive Peter Graf von Schall-Riaucour, the nephew of actress and singer Margot Hielscher, who died in 2017. The award-winner is chosen by the team of curators at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN in consultation with the award sponsor. The award is also made possible by the support of former Munich mayor Christian Ude. The first Margot Hielscher Award went to French actor and director Louis Garrel.
The award is presented in honor and in memory of Margot Hielscher, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday in 2019, the year the award was first presented. Hielscher began her career in film as a costume designer, was soon discovered for the silver screen, and later became an international celebrity. In addition to her major roles in film and television, she was a television host, an actress in stage and musical productions, and a singer who twice represented Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest. This artistic versatility is the idea behind the Margot Hielscher Award, which specifically honors young multitalented artists.