Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
|Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck|
|Born||Florian Maria Georg Christian Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck
2 May 1973
Cologne, West Germany (present-day Cologne, Germany)
|Spouse(s)||Christiane Asschenfeldt; 3 children|
Early years 
Donnersmarck was born in 1973 in Cologne, West Germany, into the Roman Catholic Henckel von Donnersmarck family, and grew up in New York City, Brussels, Frankfurt, and West Berlin. He is fluent in English, German, French, Russian, and Italian. After graduating from the Evangelisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster, a classical 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. He holds an Master of Arts degree from his studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at New College, Oxford, and a diploma in Film Directing from the University of Television and Film in Munich.
The younger son of Leo-Ferdinand, Count Henckel von Donnersmarck, a former president of the German division of the Order of Malta, his mother, Anna Maria von Berg, is a direct descendant of General von Blücher, Prince of Wahlstatt, who along with the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. He holds German and Austrian citizenship. His uncle, Gregor Henckel-Donnersmarck, is the emeritus abbot at Heiligenkreuz Abbey, a Cistercian monastery in the Vienna Woods, where Florian spent a month writing the first draft of The Lives of Others (German: Das Leben der Anderen).
Henckel von Donnersmarck is married to Christiane Asschenfeldt, former International Executive Director of Creative Commons. They have three children and currently live in Los Angeles. He stands 6'8" tall.
In 1977, While living as a child in New York, he saw his first movie at the Museum of Modern Art. He expected to see Doctor Doolittle but was "exposed instead to" the German melodrama Varieté. "He cites this experience as the start of his interest in film."
In 1996, he won a directing internship with Richard Attenborough 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), Germany, alma mater of directors as diverse as Wim Wenders and Roland Emmerich. His first short film, Dobermann (which he 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), which Donnersmarck spent three years writing, directing and completing, won the European Film Award for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Screenplay in 2006. Donnersmarck won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's award for Best Foreign Film, was nominated for the Golden Globe (which went to Clint Eastwood instead), and on 25 February 2007 won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
His next film, The Tourist, which Donnersmarck re-wrote, directed and completed in under 11 months (telling Charlie Rose he had wanted a break from writing a dark screenplay about suicide), was a romantic thriller starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, which met 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 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 belatedly to proclaim it an "international hit".
- Mitternacht (1997) (short film)
- Das Datum (1998) (short film)
- Dobermann (1999) (short film)
- Der Templer (2002) (short film)
- The Lives of Others (2006) (writer, director, co-producer)
- The Tourist (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 Gold Medal of Merit
- 2008 – 4 BAFTA nominations for The Lives of Others
- 2008 – César Award 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 (German Film Award) for The Lives of Others
- Best Direction
- Best Screenplay
- 2006 – Screenwriter Award within the Cologne Conference
- 2000 – Universal Studios' Shocking Shorts Award for Dobermann
- 2000 – Max Ophüls Preis for Dobermann
- Commander of the Bavarian Order of Merit
- Commander of the North Rhine-Westphalian Order of Merit
- Voting Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
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
Cultural references 
In 2011, Donnersmark was honoured by the University of Oxford, his alma mater, as one of its 100 most distinguished members from 10 centuries. Other honourees included Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Saint Thomas More, John Locke, Christopher Wren, Adam Smith, Lawrence of Arabia, Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien and living University members Rupert Murdoch, Bill Clinton and Stephen Hawking. For the cover of the 2011 Prospectus, Oxford University named 100 streets in Oxford's historical centre after these graduates. Upper Oxpens Road was renamed in the prospectus for Florian Henckel von Donnersmark.
See also 
- Henckel von Donnersmarck family line
- O'Neill, Phelim. "First sight: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck", The Guardian, (6 April 2007)
- "Interview: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck of The Lives of Others". Blog.oregonlive.com. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- Biodata at Yahoo! Movies
- Rohter, Larry. "German Director Plunges Beyond His Comfort Zone", The New York Times, 8 December 2010 (9 December 2010 p. C1 NY ed.). Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "The Tourist (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "The Tourist (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 24 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- "Box Office Shocker: The Tourist has Become an International Hit". The Hollywood Reporter. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
- Academy Invites 115 to Become Members[dead link]
- Reference to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck at Oxford University website, 24 March 2013
- Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck at the Internet Movie Database
- Biography and Interview Archived 5 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine in German Films Quarterly
- photographs of Donnersmarck on official site
- Interview Archived 10 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine in indieWIRE
- Interview, by Charlie Rose, aired 2010-12-07, with transcript.