Biography



Biography Short

Tom Tykwer (born on May 23, 1965) is a German film director, screenwriter, composer, and producer.

In 1985, he moved from his hometown of Wuppertal to Berlin, began studying philosophy at the Free University Berlin, and working as a projectionist in repertory theaters. In 1988, he took over programming of the Berlin cinema Moviemento and kept his head above water by editing screenplays and shooting portraits of a variety of film directors for German television. It was during this period that he met cinematographer Frank Griebe, with whom he's worked on nearly every film he's made to this day.

Following the completion of two short films, Because (1990) and Epilogue (1992), Tykwer directed his first feature-length film, Deadly Maria (1993). The film saw its premiere at the Hof International Film Festival in 1993 before launching its world tour of over 60 other film festivals. Deadly Maria features performances by Nina Petri, Josef Bierbichler and Joachim Król who would carry on working with Tykwer on future projects.

In 1994, along with Stefan Arndt, Wolfgang Becker, and Dani Levy, Tykwer co-founded the production company X Filme Creative Pool. Stefan Arndt, who had also co-produced Deadly Maria, and X Filme co-manager Maria Köpf, formed a producer team that would work closely with Tykwer over the years to come.

Tykwer spent 1995 and 1996 writing the screenplay for Life Is All You Get with Wolfgang Becker before directing his own second feature, Winter Sleepers (1997). The project introduced him to several new collaborators, among them the sound designer and mixer Matthias Lempert, with whom Tykwer has worked on every single one of his films since.

Run Lola Run followed in 1998, scoring X Filme its first great success abroad. Despite – or perhaps even because of – its unusual narrative structure, Run Lola Run was the most profitable German film of that year, and it's since won over 30 prestigious awards around the world.

For his fourth film, The Princess and the Warrior (2000), Tykwer once again worked with the lead actress of Run Lola Run, Franka Potente, and the film proved to be a solid debut for the newly founded distribution company X Verleih AG. This would also be the second project on which Tykwer worked with editor Mathilde Bonnefoy and production designer Uli Hanisch. A close and intensively creative relationship has developed with both over the following years.

Heaven (2002) would be Tykwer's first English-language film, based on a screenplay by the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. An X Filme co-production with Miramax, Heaven, with Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi in the lead roles, opened the Berlin International Film Festival in 2002.

In August 2002, Tykwer directed the short film True with Natalie Portman and Melchior Beslon. True was part of the omnibus film Paris, je t'aime, collecting short love stories from a wide range of directors, each set in one of the 20 Parisian arrondissements.

After nearly four years of preparation, Tykwer's largest production to date arrived in theaters in September 2006: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. The adaptation of Patrick Süskind's worldwide bestseller produced by Bernd Eichinger, with Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, and Rachel Hurd-Wood in the main roles, would become Tykwer's greatest box office success – despite mixed critical reaction. The film topped the international charts for several weeks and became a genuine blockbuster, especially in Europe, Asia, and South America.

In September 2007, Tykwer began shooting the political thriller The International, marking the first time he'd work with a Hollywood studio (Columbia Pictures). The film was primarily shot in Tykwer's new hometown, Berlin; other locations included Istanbul, Milan, and New York. The International, with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in the lead roles, opened the 59th Berlin International Film Festival in 2009.

In 2008, Tykwer and his wife Marie Steinmann-Tykwer co-founded the non-profit organization One Fine Day, which fosters art education and development for young people in Kenya, East Africa. This work has led to the founding of the production company One Fine Day Films, which has been developing feature-length films in workshops since 2009. Among the projects have been Soul Boy (2010, by Hawa Essuman), Nairobi Half Life (2012, by David “Tosh” Gitonga), Something Necessary (2013, Judy Kibinge) and Veve (2014, Simon Mukali).

For Alexander Kluge's multi-part DVD project based on Karl Marx's "Capital," Tykwer directed the short film Der Mensch im Ding (The Human in the Thing) in September 2008. Work on Feierlich Reist (Feierlich Travels) immediately followed in October 2008; the short film was part of the omnibus project Deutschland 09, which premiered at the Berlinale in 2009.

Tom Tykwer shot his next feature, Three, a tragicomedy with Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper, and Devid Striesow in the lead roles, in the late fall of 2009. The film was shot almost entirely in Berlin and was once again an X Filme Creative Pool production (producer: Stefan Arndt). Following the premiere of Three at the Venice Film Festival, X Verleih brought the film to German cinemas in December 2010.

Tykwer completed his production, Cloud Atlas, an adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell, with Lana and Andy Wachowski. The film, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent, was released in German movie theaters in November 2012 and is an international production from Cloud Atlas Productions, X Filme Creative Pool, and Anarchos Productions.

His most recent production, A Hologram For The King, is about a failed American businessman, played by Tom Hanks, who looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to the Saudi king. The movie will be released in 2015 and is an international production from Playtone, X Filme Creative Pool and Primedian.

As a producer, Tykwer has helped realize such films as Gigantics (1999, directed by Sebastian Schipper), Soundless (2004, directed by Mennan Yapo), A Friend of Mine (2006, Sebastian Schipper), and The Heart is a Dark Forest (2007, Nicolette Krebitz).

Biography long

Tom Tykwer (born on May 23, 1965) is a German film director, screenwriter, composer, and producer.

In 1985, he moved from his hometown of Wuppertal to Berlin, began studying philosophy at the Free University Berlin, and working as a projectionist in repertory theaters. In 1988, he took over programming of the Berlin cinema Moviemento and kept his head above water by editing screenplays and shooting portraits of a variety of film directors for German television. It was during this period that he met cinematographer Frank Griebe, with whom he's worked on nearly every film he's made to this day.

Following the completion of two short films, Because (1990) and Epilogue (1992), Tykwer directed his first feature-length film, Deadly Maria (1993). The film saw its premiere at the Hof International Film Festival in 1993 before launching its world tour of over 60 other film festivals. Deadly Maria features performances by Nina Petri, Josef Bierbichler and Joachim Król who would carry on working with Tykwer on future projects.

In 1994, along with Stefan Arndt, Wolfgang Becker, and Dani Levy, Tykwer co-founded the production company X Filme Creative Pool. Stefan Arndt, who had also co-produced Deadly Maria, and X Filme co-manager Maria Köpf, formed a producer team that would work closely with Tykwer over the years to come.

Tykwer spent 1995 and 1996 writing the screenplay for Life Is All You Get with Wolfgang Becker before directing his own second feature, Winter Sleepers (1997). The project introduced him to several new collaborators, among them the sound designer and mixer Matthias Lempert, with whom Tykwer has worked on every single one of his films since.

Run Lola Run followed in 1998, scoring X Filme its first great success abroad. Despite – or perhaps even because of – its unusual narrative structure, Run Lola Run was the most profitable German film of that year, and it's since won over 30 prestigious awards around the world.

For his fourth film, The Princess and the Warrior (2000), Tykwer once again worked with the lead actress of Run Lola Run, Franka Potente, and the film proved to be a solid debut for the newly founded distribution company X Verleih AG. This would also be the second project on which Tykwer worked with editor Mathilde Bonnefoy and production designer Uli Hanisch. A close and intensively creative relationship has developed with both over the following years.

Heaven (2002) would be Tykwer's first English-language film, based on a screenplay by the Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. An X Filme co-production with Miramax, Heaven, with Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi in the lead roles, opened the Berlin International Film Festival in 2002.

In August 2002, Tykwer directed the short film True with Natalie Portman and Melchior Beslon. True was part of the omnibus film Paris, je t'aime, collecting short love stories from a wide range of directors, each set in one of the 20 Parisian arrondissements.

After nearly four years of preparation, Tykwer's largest production to date arrived in theaters in September 2006: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. The adaptation of Patrick Süskind's worldwide bestseller produced by Bernd Eichinger, with Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, and Rachel Hurd-Wood in the main roles, would become Tykwer's greatest box office success – despite mixed critical reaction. The film topped the international charts for several weeks and became a genuine blockbuster, especially in Europe, Asia, and South America.

In September 2007, Tykwer began shooting the political thriller The International, marking the first time he'd work with a Hollywood studio (Columbia Pictures). The film was primarily shot in Tykwer's new hometown, Berlin; other locations included Istanbul, Milan, and New York. The International, with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts in the lead roles, opened the 59th Berlin International Film Festival in 2009.

In 2008, Tykwer and his wife Marie Steinmann-Tykwer co-founded the non-profit organization One Fine Day, which fosters art education and development for young people in Kenya, East Africa. This work has led to the founding of the production company One Fine Day Films, which has been developing feature-length films in workshops since 2009. Among the projects have been Soul Boy (2010, by Hawa Essuman), Nairobi Half Life (2012, by David “Tosh” Gitonga), Something Necessary (2013, Judy Kibinge) and Veve (2014, Simon Mukali).

For Alexander Kluge's multi-part DVD project based on Karl Marx's "Capital," Tykwer directed the short film Der Mensch im Ding (The Human in the Thing) in September 2008. Work on Feierlich Reist (Feierlich Travels) immediately followed in October 2008; the short film was part of the omnibus project Deutschland 09, which premiered at the Berlinale in 2009.

Tom Tykwer shot his next feature, Three, a tragicomedy with Sophie Rois, Sebastian Schipper, and Devid Striesow in the lead roles, in the late fall of 2009. The film was shot almost entirely in Berlin and was once again an X Filme Creative Pool production (producer: Stefan Arndt). Following the premiere of Three at the Venice Film Festival, X Verleih brought the film to German cinemas in December 2010.

Tykwer completed his production, Cloud Atlas, an adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell, with Lana and Andy Wachowski. The film, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent, was released in German movie theaters in November 2012 and is an international production from Cloud Atlas Productions, X Filme Creative Pool, and Anarchos Productions.

His most recent production, A Hologram For The King, is about a failed American businessman, played by Tom Hanks, who looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to the Saudi king. The movie will be released in 2015 and is an international production from Playtone, X Filme Creative Pool and Primedian.

As a producer, Tykwer has helped realize such films as Gigantics (1999, directed by Sebastian Schipper), Soundless (2004, directed by Mennan Yapo), A Friend of Mine (2006, Sebastian Schipper), and The Heart is a Dark Forest (2007, Nicolette Krebitz).