Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

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Florian Maria Georg Christian, Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck (born May 2, 1973) is a German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

, best known for writing and directing the 2007 Oscar-winning
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards of Merit, popularly known as the Oscars, handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

 film The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police...

and the 2010 film The Tourist
The Tourist (2010 film)
The Tourist is a 2010 romantic thriller film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It is a remake of the 2005 French action film Anthony Zimmer....

.

Personal life and family


He was born in Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, into the noble family Henckel von Donnersmarck
Henckel von Donnersmarck
The Henckel von Donnersmarcks are a Silesian noble family from the former region of Spiš in Upper Hungary, now in Slovakia. The founder of the family was Henckel de Quintoforo in the 14/15th Century...

 and grew up in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 and West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

. He is fluent in English, German, French, Russian and Italian. After graduating from high school at the top of his class, he studied Russian Literature in Leningrad for two years and passed the Soviet State Exam for Teachers of Russian as a Foreign Language. Florian holds an MA Oxon from his studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Philosophy, politics, and economics is a popular interdisciplinary undergraduate/graduate degree which combines study from the three disciplines...

 at Oxford University
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 (New College
New College, Oxford
New College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.- Overview :The College's official name, College of St Mary, is the same as that of the older Oriel College; hence, it has been referred to as the "New College of St Mary", and is now almost always...

). He holds a diploma in Film Directing from the University of Television and Film
University of Television and Film Munich
The University of Television and Film Munich is a publicly funded film school in Munich, Germany. The school was established in 1966 by decree of the Bavarian government. The University of Television and Film Munich is one of Germany's most reputable film schools with about 350 students enrolled...

 in Munich.

He is the younger son of Leo-Ferdinand Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck, a former President of the German division of the Order of Malta, and Anna Maria von Berg. He holds German and Austrian citizenship. His uncle, Gregor Henckel-Donnersmarck, is a Cistercian abbot
Abbot
The word abbot, meaning father, is a title given to the head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not actually the head of a monastery...

 at Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Heiligenkreuz Abbey
Heiligenkreuz Abbey is a Cistercian monastery in the village of Heiligenkreuz in the southern part of the Vienna woods, c. 13 km north-west of Baden in Lower Austria...

 in the Vienna Woods, where Florian spent a month writing the first draft of The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police...

(German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

: Das Leben der Anderen).

Henckel von Donnersmarck is married to Christiane Asschenfeldt, the former International Executive Director of Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

. They have three children: Lara Cosima (born in 2003), Leo Sylvester (born in 2005) and Alexis Jaguar (born in 2007). They currently live in Los Angeles. He stands 6'8" tall.

Career


While living as a child for a while in New York, at the age of 4, von Donnersmarck saw his first movie at the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

. He expected to see Doctor Doolittle but was "exposed instead to" the German melodrama Varieté
Varieté
Variety is a 1925 silent drama film directed by Ewald Andre Dupont based on the novel Der Eid des Stephan Huller by . Jannings portrays "Boss Huller," an ex-trapeze artist who runs a seedy carnival with his wife and child...

. "He cites this experience as the start of his interest in film."

In 1996, he won a directing internship with Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough , CBE is a British actor, director, producer and entrepreneur. As director and producer he won two Academy Awards for the 1982 film Gandhi...

 on In Love and War, and then went to study at the Fiction Directing Class of the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (University of Television and Film Munich
University of Television and Film Munich
The University of Television and Film Munich is a publicly funded film school in Munich, Germany. The school was established in 1966 by decree of the Bavarian government. The University of Television and Film Munich is one of Germany's most reputable film schools with about 350 students enrolled...

), Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, alma mater
Alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

 of directors as diverse as Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
Ernst Wilhelm "Wim" Wenders is a German film director, playwright, author, photographer and producer.-Early life:Wenders was born in Düsseldorf. He graduated from high school in Oberhausen in the Ruhr area. He then studied medicine and philosophy in Freiburg and Düsseldorf...

 and Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich
Roland Emmerich is a German film director, screenwriter, and producer.His films, most of which are Hollywood productions filmed in English, have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, more than those of any other European director...

.

His first short film, Dobermann (which Donnersmarck wrote, produced, directed and edited) broke the school record for the number of awards won by a student production. It became an international festival sensation, and Donnersmarck travelled the festival circuit for over a year.

His first feature film Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police...

), which Donnersmarck spent three years writing, directing and completing, won the European Film Award for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Screenplay in 2006. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck went on to win the Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association was founded in 1975. Its main purpose is to present yearly awards to members of the film industry who have excelled in their fields. These awards are presented each January...

's award for Best Foreign Film, was nominated for the Golden Globe (which went to Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

 instead), and on 25 February 2007 won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

His next film, The Tourist
The Tourist (2010 film)
The Tourist is a 2010 romantic thriller film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It is a remake of the 2005 French action film Anthony Zimmer....

which Donnersmarck re-wrote, directed and completed in under 11 months (telling Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose
Charles Peete "Charlie" Rose, Jr. is an American television talk show host and journalist. Since 1991 he has hosted Charlie Rose, an interview show distributed nationally by PBS since 1993...

 he had wanted a break from writing a dark screenplay about suicide) was a romantic thriller starring Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as a Goodwill Ambassador for the...

 and Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol...

. It was met with widely negative reviews. but received three Golden Globe nominations (Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role), three Teen Choice Awards
Teen Choice Awards
The Teen Choice Awards, are an annual awards show that air on the Fox cable channel, that honor the year's biggest biggest achievements in music, movies, sports, television, fashion and more, voted by teen viewers aged 14 through 17. Winners receive an authentic full size surfboard designed with...

 nominations (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress) of which it won two and has so far grossed US$ 278.3 million at the world wide box office., prompting The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter
Formerly a daily trade magazine, The Hollywood Reporter re-launched in late 2010 as a unique hybrid publication serving the entertainment industry and a consumer audience...

 belatedly to proclaim it an "international hit".

In 2007, Henckel von Donnersmarck was one of 115 new members to be invited to join AMPAS
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures...

.

Filmography

  • Mitternacht (1997) (short film)
  • Das Datum (1998) (short film)
  • Dobermann (1999) (short film)
  • Der Templer (2002) (short film)
  • The Lives of Others
    The Lives of Others
    The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police...

    (2006) (writer, director, co-producer)
  • The Tourist
    The Tourist (2010 film)
    The Tourist is a 2010 romantic thriller film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It is a remake of the 2005 French action film Anthony Zimmer....

    (2010) (writer, director)

Selected Awards and Nominations

  • 2011 - 2 Teen Choice Award wins for The Tourist
  • 2011 - 3 Teen Choice Award nominations for The Tourist
  • 2011 - 3 Golden Globe nominations for The Tourist
  • 2009 - Dante Alighieri Society
    Dante Alighieri Society
    The Dante Alighieri Society is a society that promotes the Italian culture and language around the world.It was formed in Italy in July 1889. The society was named after Dante Alighieri , a pre-Renaissance poet from Florence and the author of The Divine Comedy...

     Gold Medal of Merit
  • 2008 - 4 BAFTA nominations for The Lives of Others
  • 2008 - César Award
    César Award
    The César Award is the national film award of France, first given out in 1975. The nominations are selected by the members of the Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma....

     for The Lives of Others
  • 2007 - Academy Award for The Lives of Others
  • 2007 - New York Film Critics Circle Award for The Lives of Others
  • 2006 – 2 European Film Awards for The Lives of Others
    • Best Film
    • Best Screenplay
  • 2006 - Deutscher Filmpreis
    Deutscher Filmpreis
    The Deutscher Filmpreis is the highest German movie award. From 1951 to 2004 it was awarded by a commission, since 2005 the award has been given by the Deutsche Filmakademie...

     (German Film Award) for The Lives of Others
    The Lives of Others
    The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police...

    • Best Direction
    • Best Screenplay
  • 2006 - Screenwriter Award within the Cologne Conference
    Cologne Conference
    The Cologne Conference is an international Film and Television Festival that takes place annually in Cologne, Germany. With about 5000 visitors, the Cologne Conference is considered as the best attended festival of its kind worldwide...

  • 2000 – Universal Studios
    Universal Studios
    Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

    ' Shocking Shorts Award for Dobermann
  • 2000 – Max Ophüls Preis for Dobermann

Honours

  • Commander of the Bavaria
    Bavaria
    Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

    n Order
    Order (decoration)
    An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house or international organization to an individual, usually in recognition of distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most...

     of Merit
  • Commander of the North Rhine-Westphalia
    North Rhine-Westphalia
    North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

    n Order
    Order (decoration)
    An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house or international organization to an individual, usually in recognition of distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most...

     of Merit
  • Voting Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
    Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures...


Further reading

  • Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: Das Leben der anderen. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2006, ISBN 3-518-45786-1
  • Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck: Das Leben der anderen. Geschwärzte Ausgabe. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 3-518-45908-2

External links