Filmfest 2016

German Age Rating

“The other dffb students shot way more short films than I did. Film school was a shock to me at first. I thought I knew how to write and make moves. After three weeks at dffb, I had totally forgotten how. That crisis lasted a few years, during which I mostly watched movies, and shot little studies, little excursions.”

Early short film Petzold shot with other students in 1988 while at dffb film school.

tags: Work, Essay, Experimental, Short film


Production Company: dffb Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin GmbH

Director: Christian Petzold, Christian Frosch, Maureen Herzfeld-Bargas, Jan Ralske, Herbert Schwarze, Dino Simonett


Christian Petzold was born in Hilden, North Rhine Westphalia, in 1960. He moved to Berlin in 1981, studying German lit and theater studies at the Free University. He graduated in 1989 and went on to study directing at dffb film school, working as assistant director for Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki, and writing film criticism. Petzold shot his graduating film PILOTINNEN 1994. After TV movies CUBA LIBRE and DIE BEISCHLAFDIEBIN he shot his first theatrical film THE STATE I AM IN (2000), a daram about a teen and his parents, who are wanted terrorists. The film won a string of awards, including the German Film Prize in Gold as Best Film. In 2001, Petzold’s collaboration with Nina Hoss began on SOMETHING TO REMIND ME, with whom he went on to shoot a series of films: WOLFSBURG (2003) won the Berlinale FIPRESCI Award and the Adolf Grimme Prize in Gold. Nina Hoss also starred in YELLA (2007), JERICHOW (2009) and BARBARA (2012). He shot an episode of TV three-parter DREILEBEN (2011). Petzold’s latest theatrical film PHOENIX (2013/2014), also starring Nina Hoss, won the International Film Critics’ Award at San Sebastián Film Festival.