Arne Birkenstock was born in Huettental, Germany and was raised in Cologne, Germany. Birkenstock studied economy, political Science, History of Latin America and Romance Languages in Cologne, Germany, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Córdoba, Argentina and received a Master's degree in Latin American Studies.
Birkenstock published several studies and non-fiction books on Latin American music and on arts and media policy for German publishing houses and governmental institutions. He has written, directed and produced several feature length documentary films. In 2011 und 2014 he was awarded with the German Film Academy Award LOLA. His documentary feature "Beltracchi - the Art of Forgery" had its US theatrical release on August 19, 2015 at Film Forum, New York City and Laemmle Theatres, Los Angeles, distributed by Kimstim. As a producer he works with acclaimed directors like David Bernet (Democracy), Viviane Blumenschein (midsummer nights tango), Uli Gaulke (Comrades in Dream), Florian Opitz (The Big Sellout) Enrique Sánchez Lansch (Rhythm Is It!), Tonje Hessen Schei (Drone), Milo Rau (The Congo Tribunal), Yasemin and Nesrin Samdereli (Almanya: Welcome to Germany).
Birkenstock is a board member in the Deutsche Filmakademie. He is also a member of the European Film Academy., and the German Documentary Association (AG DOK). Birkenstocks serves as a jury member for film funds in Germany and Switzerland.
- 12 Tangos - Adios Buenos Aires - Cinema documentary on several dancers who emigrate from Buenos Aires. The film features an All Star Tango Orchestra with some of the most famous argentinian musicians such as Juan José "Pepe" Libertella, Lidia Borda and others. 86 min, 2005. It was shown in German theatres and broadcast in ARTE and other TV channels worldwide.
- Chandani - The daughter of the elephant whisperer - Cinema Documentary about a young girl who wants to become a Mahout in Sri Lanka 90 min, 2010
- Sound of Heimat - Cinema Documentary about Folk music from Germany. 90 min, had its theatrical release in September 2012
- The Art of Forgery is a Documentary film about Wolfgang Beltracchi and the biggest Art Forgery scandal in post war Germany, 90 min., started in German theaters in March 2014 and had its world premier at the Montral World Film Festival. The film will be distributed worldwide by Global Screen.
- The Moscow Trials. Cinema Documentary and theatre event by Milo Rau, who assembled the protagonists of the trials about Pussy Riot and two art exhibits in a staged court house in Moscow in March 2013.
- "The Night of the Nights" - Cinema Documentary of Yasemin Şamdereli and Nesrin Şamdereli about four couples in Germany, Turkey, Argentina and the USA who have been married for 60 and more years and had a "real" wedding night.
- 7000 KM from Home – TV documentary series about German foreign exchange students in China, 4 x 30 min., 2008
The theatrical documentary Chandani - The daughter of the elephant whisperer was awarded with the German Film Award as best Children's Feature and as Best Documentary at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
The documentary "The Night of All Nights" was awarded 2018 with the Bavarian Film Awards as "best Documentary".
- Birkenstock‘s english profile at Crew United
- Birkenstock among the members
- Homepage of the German Documentary Association (AG DOK)
- German Films on 12 Tangos
- Review and Interview on Tangotales Archived April 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- 12 Tangos at ARTE TV Archived January 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- German Films on Chandani
- Emma Hartley‘s Blog on Birkenstock‘s documentary Sound of Heimat
- 45' TV-Interview with Hayden Chisholm at "Insight Germany" (DW TV) about Sound of Heimat Archived January 22, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Die Welt on Arne Birkenstock shooting a film with Beltracchi
- Vanity Fair on the Beltracchi case
- Hollywood Reporter on Global Screen distributing Arne Birkenstock‘s new Documentary
-  The New York Times on Milo Raus documentary play and film "The Moscow Trials"]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2013-09-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Fruitmarket produces new Şamdereli-Film
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2012-06-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) 7000KM is a finalist at New York Festival
- Die Welt on Arne Birkenstock winning the German Film Award Lola
- Chandani at Chicago International Children's Film Festival Archived May 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Hollywood Reporter on German film award nominees