in 1973 in Coburg, Germany, I have never spent more than seven years at
one place. My father is a Lutheran pastor, my mother works as a teacher.
I have two younger sisters. As my parents decided to work abroad our familiy
started to move around when I was seven years old: from Coburg to Birmingham,
England, where I attended my first English school; back to Neuendettelsau,
Germany, and finally, in spring 1982, we moved to Morogoro, Tanzania
(language school) and later to Moshi in the Kilimanjaro area.
As a pupil at the International School Moshi ISM I got interested in drama and film fairly soon: I was allowed to write and direct my first short play at ISM.
In Nairobi, Kenya, where I attended the German School for one and a half years, I played a major part in the musical "The Shepherd King" that was staged at Kenya National Theatre in May 1985.
was logical for me to continue with drama when we returned to Germany one
year later. At the Regensburg Goethe Gymnasium I founded a film production
club that was sponsered to produce two video fiction films in 1992 and
1993 by the Munich Institute for Youth, Film and Television (Institut Jugend
Film Fernsehen JFF).
Together with a friend of mine I wrote the script. While he acted as a camera man I directed the films. The two of us were trained in a Nuremberg editing studio to do the montage ourselves. The films were shown on several Bavarian youth film festivals. „Hundsumkehr" (1992) was awarded a prize in Regensburg in 1993.
Having finished school I travelled from Zimbabwe to Kenya and got a job as a trainee at the German TV and Radio Broadcasting Company in Nairobi (ARD). One part of my job consisted of research work in the Victoria Sea area in Tanzania. I had to find interview partners for a TV documentary on the literary work of Aniceti Kitereza, a Tanzanian novelist who described in detail African rural life in the 1950s. The idea of the film was to compare his oeuvre with todays' life of Tanzanians of the Ukerewe Island where Kitereza lived and died. I returned to Germany in October 1993.
military or social service is obligatory in Germany, I had the chance to
work with Action Sign of Reconciliaton / Service for Peace (Aktion
Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste A.S.F.) which offer volunteers to
work in countries formerly occupied by the Nazis. I spent one year
in a Study and Documentation Centre of the Holocaust in Brussels, Belgium
(Fondation Auschwitz ).
Being capable of English and French I was soon in charge of the international mail. I also worked as the Centre's librarian and helped organizing an International Congress on Oral History which was held in Paris, France in automn 1994. For the International Auschwitz Committee I translated press releases featuring the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz in January 1995 to and from English, French and German.
I moved to Paris in March 1995 to film and edit a bilingual documentary on German volunteers in France. As my home organisation A.S.F. was in charge of twenty volunteers I closely worked together with their Paris and Berlin offices to produce this video documentary. It was first screend in public at the Paris Goethe-Institut during the celebration ceremonies of 35 years of ASF in France, in 1996.
After these various experiences it was a logical move for me to take up studies of theatre, film and television, as well as social and political sciences in Berlin in 1995 at the Free University (Freie Universität Berlin).
Having gained experience both in documentary and fiction film making, I wanted to deepen my academic knowledge of theory, history and analysis of films. I also aimed at staying open towards the more journalistic side of the media, which is why political and social sciences are my minor subjects, as well as keeping an eye on the ficional side of it.
being close to A.S.F., I worked one year as the volunteers' representative
at the Berlin head office.
I had a number of jobs at professional film productions since my moving to Berlin. Together with a London based film company assisted an undercover documentary on Berlin building sites as a camera and production assistant and as a translator („A Berlin job", written, directed and produced by Rave Productions / Twenty Twenty TV for Channel 4, 1996).
I worked as the directors assistant, script/continuity man, sound assistant, assistant director for at least one dozen short film productions during 1996 to 2001. For a German-Finnish cinema co-production I was responsible for the script while we were shooting in Germany and Finland („Downhill City", 1999, written and directed by Hannu Salonen). I had the chance to work as the directors assstant with director of photography Sophie Maintigneux while shooting a short film („Last Vibrations", 2000, written, directed and produced by Jean-Baptiste Filleau).
the same time, I was eager to produce my own films. After having finished
the editing work for the A.S.F. documentary „I am not idealistic"
(„Ich bin kein Idealist", written, filmed and directed by Johannes Rosenstein
for AS.F., 1995/96) together with Michael Dübé from CineImpuls,
Berlin, it took me one year to organize the production of my first 16mm
fiction film. Together with a couple of friends who also work in the film
and theatre business, we were able to cast and shoot the short film „Small
This film tells two stories at one and the same time: the image level presents the struggle of love, life and the media of a student of psychology, the sound level offers a theoretical, satirical commentary that caricatures the great gap between theory (sound) and practice (picture).
The post-production work (montage, sound mixing) was completed by 1999. As I had to raise the money myself, it took more than two years to present this film at various festivals (screenings in Berlin, Karlsruhe, Marburg, Bayreuth in 1999 and 2000).
with a student of German studies I initiated and offered a course of Creative
Writing for Drama and Film within the 1997/98 program of Students' Teaching
Being a unique university program, the FU Berlin subsidarizes these students-for-students seminaries since 1989. I don't believe creative writing to be a luxury, our aim was to make writing in general more attractive. At the end of the two terms, our group had produced a number of scenes, short plays and stories. In 2000/2001 we were given the opportunity to continue our creative writing course which we focussed this time on cabaret and drama.
My studies of film and television have always accompanied my other fields of interest. As I have outlined it is important for me to combine theoretical and practical work on film. Being a highly technical mass communication media, I want to both understand the production and the interpretation of film and TV.
I have written my M.A. thesis on African contemporary cinema - a topic which no one actually ever did some research on in Germany. There are numerous books edited by American, French and African authors; my book contains the latest African feature films and analyzes African storytelling from the cinematographical point of view. It may be obtained through any bookstore or directly at Ibidem Verlag Stuttgart.
In 2003, I produced and directed another short film: "Stille Post" is shot on Mini-DV. It is a 16 minute feature film and tells the story of a blind girl who falls in love with a postman who cannot read. But because neither of them is honest and pretends he or she can read, they get into some personal trouble. The film had its' premiere end of August in Berlin.
Since October 2003 I am a student of the Munich Film School. Here, finally, I have the unique opportunity to get into the film and media business with very professional help and concern of my professors. The next films are to come - for sure.