Best German(speaking) directors

by rose-taylor | created - 02 Dec 2010 | updated - 23 Aug 2012 | Public

chronologic

1. Fritz Lang

Director | M

Fritz Lang was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1890. His father managed a construction company. His mother, Pauline Schlesinger, was Jewish but converted to Catholicism when Lang was ten. After high school, he enrolled briefly at the Technische Hochschule Wien and then started to train as a painter. ...

2. Ernst Lubitsch

Director | To Be or Not to Be

From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at ...

3. Wolfgang Staudte

Director | Ciske de Rat

Wolfgang Staudte was born on October 9, 1906 in Saarbrücken, Germany as Wolfgang Georg Friedrich Staudte. He was a director and actor, known for Ciske de Rat (1955), Murderers Among Us (1946) and Rotation (1949). He was married to Angelika Hoffmann, Rita Heidelbach, Ingmar Zeisberg and Renate ...

4. Frank Beyer

Director | Spur der Steine

Director. Writer. Began studying at the FAMU in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1952 where he made his diploma in directing. Since 1958 worked as a director for the east-german production company DEFA. In that time he received numerous decorations for his work. His film Spur der Steine (1966) was ...

5. Volker Schlöndorff

Director | Die Blechtrommel

Has studied economy and political sciences as well as at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographique (IDHEC) in Paris, France. Worked as an assistant director with Louis Malle, Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Resnais. Founded his own production company Bioskop Film together with Reinhard Hauff ...

6. Konrad Wolf

Director | Solo Sunny

He was the son of the German dramatist Friedrich Wolf. He left Germany with his family for the USSR and came back to Germany as a nineteen year old Lieutenant in the Russian Army in 1945. Was a short time commander of the town Bernau near Berlin in Spring 1945. _Ich war 19 (1968)_ is an ...

7. Werner Herzog

Director | Fitzcarraldo

Director. Writer. Producer. Has studied history, literature and theatre, but hasn't finished it. Founded his own production company in 1963. Has staged several operas, besides others in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has won numerous national and international awards for...

8. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Writer | Faustrecht der Freiheit

Above all, Rainer Werner Fassbinder was a rebel whose life and art was marked by gross contradiction. Openly homosexual, he married twice; one of his wives acted in his films and the other served as his editor. Accused variously by detractors of being anticommunist, male chauvinist, antiSemitic and...

9. Wim Wenders

Director | Der Himmel über Berlin

Wim Wenders is an Oscar-nominated German filmmaker who was born Ernst Wilhelm Wenders on August 14, 1945 in Düsseldorf, which then was located in the British Occupation Zone of what became the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany, known colloquially as West Germany until ...

10. Margarethe von Trotta

Director | Hannah Arendt

Margarethe von Trotta was born in Berlin in 1942. In the 1960s she moved to Paris where she worked for film collectives, collaborating on scripts and co-directing short films. She also pursued an acclaimed acting career, starring in films by well known German directors such as Rainer Werner ...

11. Michael Haneke

Director | Caché

A true master of his craft, Michael Haneke is one of the greatest film artists working today and one who challenges his viewers each year and work goes by, with films that reflect real portions of life in realistic, disturbing and unforgettable ways. One of the most genuine filmmakers of the world ...

12. Michael Verhoeven

Director | Das schreckliche Mädchen

Michael Verhoeven was born on July 13, 1938 in Berlin, Germany. He is a director and writer, known for The Nasty Girl (1990), My Mother's Courage (1995) and Sonntagskinder (1980). He has been married to Senta Berger since September 26, 1966. They have two children.

13. Edgar Reitz

Director | Die andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht

Studied theatre science, German philology, art history, and publicism in Munich. Published some poems and short stories during early 1950s, co-edited the literature magazine "Spuren". In 1952, he took acting lessons, co-founded a student theatre which became established as the university's studio ...

14. Caroline Link

Director | Nirgendwo in Afrika

Caroline Link was born on June 2, 1964 in Bad Nauheim, Hesse, Germany. She is a director and writer, known for Nirgendwo in Afrika (2001), Beyond Silence (1996) and Annaluise & Anton (1999).

15. Tom Tykwer

Composer | Lola rennt

Director, writer, producer and composer Tom Tykwer was born in 1965 in Wuppertal, Germany. He showed an interest in film-making from childhood, making super 8 films from the age of 11. Among his first jobs was working at a local art-house cinema. Tykwer eventually relocated to Berlin, first working...

16. Detlev Buck

Director | Same Same But Different

Directed his first movie at the age of 21. Studied at the 'Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie' (DFFB) til 1989. Founded the Boje Buck Filmproduktion in 1991. Founded the Boje Buck Produktion GmbH together with Claus Boje in 1992.

17. Doris Dörrie

Writer | Kirschblüten - Hanami

Doris Dörrie was born on May 26, 1955 in Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany. She is a writer and director, known for Kirschblüten - Hanami (2008), Men... (1985) and Grüße aus Fukushima (2016). She was previously married to Helge Weindler.

18. Hans-Christian Schmid

Director | 23

Hans-Christian Schmid was born on August 19, 1965 in Altötting, Bavaria, Germany. He is a director and writer, known for 23 (1998), Lichter (2003) and Storm (2009).

19. Andreas Dresen

Director | Halbe Treppe

Andreas Dresen was born on August 16, 1963 in Gera, German Democratic Republic. He is a director and writer, known for Halbe Treppe (2002), Halt auf freier Strecke (2011) and Night Shapes (1999).

20. Oskar Roehler

Writer | Die Unberührbare

Oskar Roehler was born on January 21, 1959 in Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany. He is a writer and director, known for Die Unberührbare (2000), Agnes and His Brothers (2004) and Silvester Countdown (1997). He has been married to Alexandra Fischer-Roehler since August 2000.

21. Christian Petzold

Director | Phoenix

Christian Petzold was born in Hilden in 1960. After studying German and Drama at the Freie Universität Berlin, he enrolled in Berlin's German Academy for Film and Television (DFFB). There he studied film direction while at same time working as an assistant director to Harun Farocki and Hartmut ...

22. Hans Weingartner

Director | Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei

Hans Weingartner was born on November 2, 1970 in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, Austria. He is a director and writer, known for The Edukators (2004), Das weiße Rauschen (2001) and Die Summe meiner einzelnen Teile (2011).

23. Angelina Maccarone

Writer | Fremde Haut

Angelina Maccarone was born on August 21, 1965 in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. She is a writer and director, known for Unveiled (2005), Alles wird gut (1998) and Verfolgt (2006).

24. Andres Veiel

Director | Wer wenn nicht wir

Andres Veiel was born on October 16, 1959 in Stuttgart, Germany. He is a director and writer, known for Wer wenn nicht wir (2011), Beuys (2017) and Black Box BRD (2001).

25. Fatih Akin

Director | Gegen die Wand

Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg of Turkish parentage. He began studying Visual Communications at Hamburg's College of Fine Arts in 1994. His collaboration with Wueste Film also dates from this time. In 1995, he wrote and directed his first short feature, "Sensin - You're The One!" ("Sensin -...

26. Connie Walter

Director | Das erste Mal

After finishing school Connie Walter studied sociology and Spanish at the University of Marburg, Germany. She started out in the media biz as assistant to an advertising photographer. After graduating from the German Film and TV Academy in Berlin, Walter was very successful with her first ...

27. Chris Kraus

Writer | Vier Minuten

Chris Kraus was born in 1963 in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany. He is a writer and director, known for Vier Minuten (2006), The Bloom of Yesterday (2016) and Scherbentanz (2002).

28. Wolfgang Becker

Director | Good Bye Lenin!

Director. Cinematographer. Writer. Studied germanistics, history and americanistics in film, Berlin, Germany. Studied at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie (DFFB) in Berlin, Germany.

29. Christian Schwochow

Director | Die Unsichtbare

Christian Schwochow was born on September 23, 1978 in Bergen auf Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. He is a director and writer, known for Die Unsichtbare (2011), Novemberkind (2008) and Mitten in Deutschland: NSU (2016).

30. Lars Kraume

Director | Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer

Lars Kraume was born on February 24, 1973 in Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy. He is a director and writer, known for Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (2015), Life Is Too Short to Dance with Ugly Women (1996) and Tatort (1970).