After studying languages and economics in Cologne, Sonja Heinen started her career in film business in 1991 at Filmstiftung NRW in Duesseldorf.
Until 2001 she was Assistant to Executive Director Dieter Kosslick and especially responsible for International Contacts.
During this time she organised Co-Production Meetings with almost all European countries as well as international producers' delegations and developed the International Co-Production Market Cologne which took place in 2000 for the first time.
From March 2001 until July 2003 she has been working as Producer and Project Coordinator for Gemini Film and International West Pictures in Cologne.
Since 2003 she works at the Berlin International Film Festival, as Head of the Berlinale Co-Production Market, and since August 2004, she is additionally Programme Manager of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund.