Fatih Akin (Turkish: Fatih Akın, born 25 August 1973) is a German film director, screenwriter and producer of Turkish descent.[1][2] He has won numerous awards for his films, including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his film Head-On (2004), Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival for his film The Edge of Heaven (2007), and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film for his film In the Fade (2017).

Fatih Akin
Fatih Akin in Bitola.jpg
Akin in 2019
Born (1973-08-25) 25 August 1973 (age 48)
Hamburg, West Germany
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1995–present

Early lifeEdit

Akin was born in Hamburg to Turkish parents.[3] He has one brother, Cem Akin, who works as an actor. He attended the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg to study visual communications and graduated in 2000.[4]

Akin has been married to German-Mexican actress Monique Obermüller since 2004. The couple live in Hamburg-Altona, close to where he was raised.[2] They have two children.[5]


Akin made his debut as director of a full-length film as early as 1998 with Short Sharp Shock (Kurz und schmerzlos), which brought him the "Bronze Leopard" award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and the "Pierrot", the Bavarian Film Award for Best New Director in Munich the same year. Since then he has directed feature films such as In July (Im Juli) in 2000, We forgot to go back (Wir haben vergessen zurückzukehren) in 2001 and Solino' in 2002.

His fourth film, Head-On (Gegen die Wand), starring Sibel Kekilli, was a major success in 2004 and received several prizes, among them the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival and the "Best Film" and the "Audience Award" at the 2004 European Film Awards.

Akin at the 2009 Venice Film Festival

In 2005, he directed a documentary about the Istanbul music scene, Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul, which includes musicians such as Ceza, Sezen Aksu, Aynur Doğan and Brenna MacCrimmon. It is narrated by a member of a German experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten, Alexander Hacke, who also produced music for Head-On.

In 2007, Akin's The Edge of Heaven, a German-Turkish cross-cultural tale of loss, mourning and forgiveness, won the prize for Best Screenplay at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007.[6][7] On 24 October 2007 the same film was awarded the first edition of the LUX prize for European cinema by the European Parliament.[8]

About the comedy Soul Kitchen (2009) he has said he chose this more light-hearted film because he needed a break after making the "tough" films Head-On and The Edge of Heaven before making his next planned film The Devil. "But", he says, "now I feel ready to finish the trilogy".[9]

In 2012, his documentary film Polluting Paradise was screened in the Special Screenings section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[10][11]

His 2014 film The Cut has been selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.[12][13]

In 2017, Akin's film In the Fade was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.[14][15] At Cannes that year, Diane Kruger won the Best Actress award.[16] The film was subsequently selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards,[17] making the December shortlist.[18] In the Fade won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.[19]

Political stanceEdit

In 2006, Akin expressed protest towards the George W. Bush administration when he wore a shirt on set with the letters "BUSH", with a swastika in place of the letter "S". Subsequently, someone filed a complaint and Akin was investigated by German police.[20][21] Akin defended the shirt as "more than mere provocation" and emphasized:[22]

Bush's policy is comparable with that of the Third Reich. I think that under Bush, Hollywood has been making certain films at the request of The Pentagon to normalise things like torture and Guantanamo. I'm convinced the Bush administration wants a third world war. I think they're fascists.

— Fatih Akin



Year Title Notes Awards
1995 Sensin... You're the One! Short film (German title: Sensin - Du bist es!)
1996 Weed Short film (German title: Getürkt)
1997 Back in Trouble Actor
1998 Short Sharp Shock (German title: Kurz und schmerzlos) Bronze Leopard at Locarno, Switzerland
Pierrot at Bavarian Film Award for the best young director
2000 In July Original script
2001 Denk ich an Deutschland … [de] – Wir haben vergessen zurückzukehren TV documentary series episode
2002 Solino
2004 Head-On (German title: Gegen die Wand, Turkish title: Duvara karşı) Golden Bear at Berlin Film Festival
"Best Film" and "Audience Award" at European Film Awards
2004 Visions of Europe (segment Die bösen alten Lieder, German title: Europäische Visionen)
2004 Kebab Connection Co-writer
2004 Hırsız Var Actor (Lokman)
2005 Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul Documentary
2007 The Edge of Heaven (German title: Auf der anderen Seite, Turkish title: Yaşamın Kıyısında) Best Director at Golden Orange Film Festival
Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival
LUX prize for European cinema by European Parliament
2008 New York, I Love You A segment
2009 Soul Kitchen Original script Special Award of the Jury at Venice International Film Festival
2012 Polluting Paradise Documentary (German title: Der Müll im Garten Eden)
2014 The Cut
2016 Goodbye Berlin based on the novel by Wolfgang Herrndorf (German title: Tschick)
2017 In the Fade (German title: Aus dem Nichts) Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 75th Golden Globe Awards
2019 The Golden Glove (German title: Der goldene Handschuh) based on the novel by Heinz Strunk


Actors Short Sharp Shock In July Solino Head-On The Edge of Heaven Soul Kitchen The Cut
Cem Akin
Moritz Bleibtreu
Adam Bousdoukos
Stefan Gebelhoff
Demir Gökgöl
Marc Hosemann
Mehmet Kurtuluş
Hermann Lause
Catrin Striebeck
Birol Ünel
İdil Üner
Patrycia Ziółkowska


  1. ^ Çağla Karabağ, "Intercultural Encounters in Fatih Akın's Films" in Klaus Roth, Robert Hayden (ed.), Migration In, From, and to Southeastern Europe: Part 1: Historical and Cultural Aspects, Ethnologia Balcanica 13, LIT Verlag Münster, 2011, ISBN 978-3-643-10895-1, p. 181.
  2. ^ a b "Director's Portrait: Fatih Akın – The sun is as much mine as the night". www.german-films.de. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  3. ^ Kulish, Nicholas (6 January 2008). "A hand that links Germans and Turks". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Head-On". Golden Apricot International Film Festival. Retrieved 8 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Fatih Akin: Der Regisseur des Rauen".
  6. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Edge of Heaven". www.festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Film about abortion takes Cannes' prize". Guardian Unlimited. London. 27 May 2007. Archived from the original on 1 December 2013.
  8. ^ "And the LUX Prize for European cinema goes to… "Auf der anderen Seite" ("On the Edge of Heaven")". European Parliament. 24 October 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  9. ^ "At the Movies: Soul Kitchen Interview". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  10. ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Polluting Paradise: Cannes Review". Hollywood Reporter. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  12. ^ "International competition of feature films". Venice. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced". Deadline. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  14. ^ "The 2017 Official Selection". Cannes. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  15. ^ "2017 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup: Todd Haynes, Sofia Coppola, 'Twin Peaks' and More". IndieWire. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  16. ^ Debruge, Peter (28 May 2017). "2017 Cannes Film Festival Award Winners Announced". Variety. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  17. ^ Mitchell, Robert (24 August 2017). "Fatih Akin's 'In the Fade' Selected as German Oscar Entry". Variety. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  18. ^ Pond, Steve (14 December 2017). "Oscars Foreign Language Shortlist Includes 'The Square,' 'A Fantastic Woman'". The Wrap. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  19. ^ "In the Fade (Aus Dem Nichts) (2017)". Golden Globes. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  20. ^ "German movie director investigated for wearing a Swastika". Deutsche Welle. 7 August 2006. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  21. ^ "Critics use Nazi symbolism to attack Bush administration". ABC News. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  22. ^ "Film director in trouble over Swastika t-shirt". Der Spiegel. 7 August 2006. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  23. ^ "Bayerischer Filmpreis: Promis und Porzellan". Max (German magazine) (in German). Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
  24. ^ "Orden für Riemann und Akin". BZ Berlin (in German). 4 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.


  • Barbara Kosta, "Transcultural Exchanges: Fatih Akin's Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul (2005)," in Martinson, Steven D. / Schulz, Renate A. (Eds./hg.), Transcultural German Studies / Deutsch als Fremdsprache: Building Bridges / Brücken bauen (Bern etc., Peter Lang, 2008) (Jahrbuch für Internationale Germanistik, Reihe A: Kongressberichte, 94),

External linksEdit