Fred Kelemen studied painting, music, philosophy, science of religions and theater before attending the German Film & TV Academy in Berlin from 1989 to 1994. His debut film Fate in 1994 received the German National Film Award. He has also directed Frost (1997/98), Nightfall (1999) and Fallen (2005), each drawing international attention and numerous awards.
Kelemen has served as cinematographer for film directors including Béla Tarr (Journey to the Plain, 1995, The Man from London, 2007, The Turin Horse, 2011), Rudolf Thome (The Visible and the Invisible, 2006), Gariné Torossian (Stone, Time, Touch, 2005), Joseph Pitchhadze ("Sukaryot / Sweets", 2012/2013). and others.
Since 2000 he has also directed several plays, including an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 at the Schauspielhaus in Hanover, and Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under The Elms at Volksbühne in Berlin. In addition, Kelemen has worked as a teacher at film and media institutes and universities at several locations.
With his production company Kino Kombat Filmmanufactur, Kelemen produced his film Krisana/Fallen (co-producer: Laima Freimane/Screen Vision, Latvia, 2005) and he produced or co-produced the films Moskatchka by Annett Schütze (co-producer: Laima Freimane/Screen Vision, Latvia, 2005), "Girlfriends" by Jana Marsik (co-producers: Laima Freimane/Screen Vision, Latvia, jana Marsik) and Fragment by Gyula Maár (producer: Béla Tarr/TTFilmműhely, Hungary, 2007).
- 1993 Kalyi
- 1994 Verhängnis
- 1995 Utazás az Alföldön (short)
- 1997/1998 Frost
- 1999 Abendland
- 2000 Tatau Samoa (documentary)
- 2007 Stone Time Touch (documentary)
- 2007 The Man from London
- 2007 Das Sichtbare und das Unsichtbare
- 2011 The Turin Horse
- 2013 Sukaryot
- 2016 Blue Psalm for Wolves / Sarajevo Songs of Woe
Kelemen was awarded nationally and internationally several times as e.g.:
- 1994 FIPRESCI-Award for "Fate" (original title: "Verhängnis")'
- 1995 German National Film Award (Silver Ribbon) for "Fate" (original title: "Verhängnis")
- 1998 FIPRESCI- Award for "Frost"
- 1999 FIPRESCI- Award for "Nightfall" (original title: "Abendland")
- 2005 FIPRESCI- Award for "Fallen" (original title: "Kisana")
- 2005 Latvian National Film Award "Best Cinematographer" for "Fallen" (original title: "Krisana")
- 2005 German Camera Award - Nomination
- 2011 Golden Camera 300 - International Cinematographers' Film Festival Manaki Brothers / Macedonia for "The Turin Horse"
- 2011 Carlo Di Palma Best European Cinematographer Award - Nomination
- 2012 Hungarian National Film Award - Best Cinematographer
- 2013 Innovation Award of the German Film Critics' Association
- 2016 Special Prize MASTER, Yerevan International Film Festival "Golden Apricot"
- 2016 St. Grigor Narekatsi Gold Medal of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, Yerevan/Armenia
- Fred Kelemen.com
- Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
- Susan Sontag essay "The Decay of Cinema," NY Times