Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein

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Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein (born 1939 in Königs Wusterhausen, Germany) is a German cinematographer. He has collaborated with director Werner Herzog on a number of projects. Among his many collaborations with other directors, Schmidt-Reitwein is notable for his cinematographic achievement in shooting Alan Greenberg's acclaimed 1982 documentary about Jamaica and death of Bob Marley, Land of Look Behind.


Early life and family[edit]

Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein is the son of the painter Karl Schmidt-Reitwein. The first twelve years of his life he has been in Lübeck in a house of the famous Linde family. His mother Barbara was the niece of Edvard Munchs patron Max Linde and painters Hermann Linde and Heinrich Linde-Walther.

Early career[edit]

He went to Waldorfschool and afterward he studied Physics for a few semesters also in Lübeck. Then he switched on to the Film Industry and went for that in 1959 to Berlin. He did some various practicum in different film management area such as synchron studio, film laboratory, and sound studio. Suddenly his career broke up, when he was captured there after building the Berlin Wall, on the east side, as he tried to help his girlfriend be transported to West-Berlin. In a fast political juristic show-process he was sentenced for 5 years imprisonment as an accused human dealer and a bounty hunter. After spending more than 3 years in penitentiary, the west-government dealt in a conspirative action with GDR-lawyer Wolfgang Vogel for his freedom against 84.000 DM worth of butter.

Career as a cinematographer[edit]

He started his professional career again from the very beginning. In the first instance as a camera assistant in Munich. In 1969 Werner Herzog gave him his greatest chance for the first time by a Doku- Feature Film as Director of Photography. Thereby emerged the most promising film critics for Fata Morgana. Thereafter he worked together 17 more movies and documentary films with Werner Herzog himself. On top of this, he also worked with a number of well known directors such as Douglas Sirk, Alexander Kluge, Herbert Achternbusch, Josef Bierbichler, H.C. Blumenberg, Werner Schroeter, Alan Greenberg, Valie Export, Doris Dörrie, Jochen Kuhn, Markus Fischer, Douglas Wolfsperger, Andre Heller, etc. He gathered two German Film Prize trophies awarded in gold for his light speciality on two films he collaborated with Werner Herzog.

Schmidt-Reitwein had worked in the Ludwigsburg Film Academy and the Film Academy of the University of the Philippines in Manila as a Lecturer.

He also works for TV, shooting many commercials for Nike, DHL, MasterCard, Swiss Com, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

Personal life[edit]

Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein is the father of five children. From his first marriage with Erika Kaul he is the father to his oldest daughter Iris Maria (b. 1966), from his second marriage with Susanne Rupprecht to son Tobias and daughters Lara and Lisa. Together with his third wife he has raised his youngest daughter Ana.

Filmography (incomplete)[edit]


  • 2 Federal Film Awards (Film ribbon in gold)
  • 2 nominations for the German Camera Prize
  • 1 nomination for the Festival de l image de Film (Chalon sur Soune)
  • Jury member Cameraimage 2001
  • First Prize for DOP work on FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL 2007 in Málaga (Spain)


External links[edit]