About Oliver Schmitz

    Oliver Schmitz studied fine arts in Cape Town, at the same time joining a collective that ran a cult nightclub SCRATCH . It became a legendary club that beat Apartheid segregation laws and nurtured a generation of creative and rebellious youth.

    Schmitz made his first feature, MAPANTSULA in 1987. It is the prominent anti-Apartheid cinema icon of the time and Schmitz wrote a fake script to elude police and censors. Mapantsula has been taught in Film Studies in many universities, including Columbia University in NY, Bristol and Wits in Johannesburg.

    He has made five movies for cinema, four of which have premiered in official selection in Cannes - one being the Parisian omnibus film PARIS JE T’AIME(PLACE DES FETES)(on Itunes/Apple Tv).

    LIFE ABOVE ALL(GELIEBTES LEBEN/ LE SECRET DE CHANDA)(on Itunes/Apple Tv), made it onto the Oscars shortlist for Best Foreign Film(2010) and won the jury prize at the Dubai International Film festival(2010), also winning the Francois Chalais award at Cannes.

    SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS (2016)(on Netflix/Amazon Prime) with Steve Coogan and Andrea Riseborough, premiered at the Berlinale 2016, where it won an audience award and Best Directing at the South African Film and Television Awards.

    He also has an active television career, directing, amongst others, the award-winning comedy series TÜRKISCH FÜR ANFÄNGER(on Netflix) and DOCTOR’S DIARY, winning respectively, Best Series, at the German Television Awards, the German Comedy Awards and a prestigious Grimme Prize. He directed the first episodes of the ZDF primetime comedy series DAS PUBERTIER(on Amazon Prime) and the pilot for popular RTL series, ST.MAIK( nominated for the German Comedy Prize).

    Television movies include all five films in the ALLEIN UNTER series with Hannes Jaenicke (nominated for Best Actor, Bavarian Film Prize 2015) and FAMILIE OHNE GRENZEN with Richie Müller and Lisa Martinek (Nominated for Best German TV film at the Jupiter Awards in 2014).

    In 2018 Oliver partnered up with Aaryan Trivedi to form WTHW (what the hero wants). They have developed the screenplays BUGS AND DRUGS , 418 ( co-produced by Gaumont Germany), BOOKS AND BULLETS and COME TOGETHER(WT) With Dreamer Jointventure and Blueskin Films..

    2019 Schmitz directed three episodes of PROFESSIONALS, starring Brendan Fraser, Tom Welling and Elena Anaya, with screenplays by Michael Colleary(FACE OFF)

    Currently, he is in pre-production on THE OUTSIDE ROOM ( based on the novel AGAAT), starring Vanessa Redgrave, Lashana Lynch, Emily Beecham and Sverrir Gudnason.

    Known for

    Fictional movies as director

    2023Mord mit AussichtTV Series, ARD [de], WDR [de]MultipleClaussen+Putz Filmproduktion GmbH (formerly Claussen+Wöbke+Putz)
    2022Die Heiland - Wir sind AnwaltTV Series, ARD [de]MultipleOlga Film GmbH
    2021Marie Brand und der entsorgte MannTV-Movie (Series), ZDF [de]Oliver SchmitzWarner Bros. ITVP Deutschland GmbH
    2021Die Heiland - Wir sind AnwaltTV Series, ARD [de]MultipleOlga Film GmbH
    2020Klara Sonntag - Kleine Fische, große FischeTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de], Degeto [de]Oliver SchmitzGaumont GmbH [de]
    2019ProfessionalsTV Series, ViaplayOliver SchmitzSaint Moon Hill Productions [za]
    2018Jenny - echt gerecht!TV Series, RTL [de]MultipleITV Studios Germany Fiction GmbH (formerly Talpa Germany Fiction GmbH)
    2018AmokspielTV Movie, SAT.1Oliver SchmitzTV60Filmproduktion GmbH
    2017Von Fall zu Fall - Stubbe - Tod auf der InselTV-Movie (Series), ZDF [de]Oliver SchmitzPolyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft mbH
    2017Der Usedom-Krimi - GeisterschiffTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de], Degeto [de], NDR [de]Oliver SchmitzPolyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft mbH
    2017Das PubertierTV Series, ZDF [de]Oliver SchmitzUFA Fiction
    2016Sankt MaikTV Series, RTL [de]Oliver SchmitzUFA Fiction
    2016Liebling, lass die Hühner freiTV-Movie (Series), Degeto [de], WDR [de]Oliver SchmitzUFA Fiction
    2016Familie mit HindernissenTV-Movie (Series), MDR [de], ORF [at]Oliver SchmitzAriane Krampe Filmproduktion
    2016Lucie Marshall (Webserie)SeriesOliver SchmitzMaz & Movie GmbH [de]
    2015Schandfleck - Der Usedom-KrimiTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de], Degeto [de], NDR [de]Oliver SchmitzRazor Film Produktion GmbH [de]
    2015Shepherds and Butchers
    Panorama, Berlinale
    Feature FilmOliver SchmitzDistant Horizon [us]Panorama, Berlinale
    2014Allein unter ÄrztenTV-Movie (Series), SAT.1Oliver SchmitzHager Moss Film GmbH
    2014Reiff für die Insel - Katharina und der SchäferTV-Movie (Series), ARD [de]Oliver SchmitzNordfilm GmbH [de]
    2014Frühling - Frühling in WeißTV-Movie (Series), ZDF [de]Oliver SchmitzUFA Fiction

    Non-fictional movies as director

    1996Jo'burg StoriesDocumentary, arteOliver SchmitzCatalyst Films [za]

    Film awards

    2014Willkommen im ClubJupiter AwardBester TV-Spielfilm nationalNominated
    2009Doctor’s Diary - Männer sind die beste MedizinAdolf-Grimme-PreisUnterhaltung (stellv. für Regie)Winner
    2006Türkisch für AnfängerAdolf Grimme PreisUnterhaltungWinner
    1998Jo'burg StoriesFestival Vues D'Afrique deMontréalPrix du DocumentaireWinner
    1989MapantsulaEvangelischer FilmpreisKinofilmWinner
    1989MapantsulaAustralian Human Rights AwardspielfilmWinner


    20242016 Panorama Publikumspreis - Shepherds and Butchers
    2011Roger Ebert Award - Life Above All/Geliebtes Leben
    2010Top Five Foreign Films - National Board of Review - Life Above All/Geliebtes Leben
    2010Francois Chalais Preis Cannes - Life Above All/Geliebtes Leben
    2010Muhr Asia Africa- Special Jury Prize - Life Above All/Geliebtes Leben

    Basic data

    EducationBA FINE ARTS, University of Cape Town
    Immediate working areaBerlin
    1st residence (federal state or country)Germany - Berlin