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Maren Ade (German: [ˈmaːʁən ˈaːdə]; born 12 December 1976) is a German film director, screenwriter and producer. Ade lives in Berlin, teaching screenwriting at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. Together with Janine Jackowski and Jonas Dornbach, she also runs the film production company Komplizen Film.

Maren Ade
Maren Ade (2016).jpg
Ade in 2016
Born (1976-12-12) 12 December 1976 (age 42)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Years active2000–present
Spouse(s)Ulrich Köhler

Early life and educationEdit

Ade was born in Karlsruhe, West Germany. As a teenager, Ade directed her first short films.[1]

In 1998, she began studying film production and media management, and later film direction at the University of Television and Film (HFF) in Munich,[2] which she successfully completed in 2004.[1]


In 2001, Ade co-founded the film production company Komplizen Film together with Janine Jackowski, a fellow graduate from HFF.[2] It was with Komplizen Film that she produced her final student film The Forest for the Trees at HFF in 2003. Among other honors, the film received the Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. The Forest for the Trees was screened at a large number of international festivals.

In 2009, her second film Everyone Else celebrated its world premiere in the Official Competition section of the Berlin International Film Festival, where it received the Silver Bear for Best Film (Jury Grand Prix) and the Best Actress Silver Bear for Birgit Minichmayr. Everyone Else was released in theatres in over 18 countries.

In 2012, Ade announced she would be writing and directing a film called Toni Erdmann about a man who begins to play pranks on his adult daughter after he finds she has become too serious.[3] The film debuted In Competition at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the first German film to debut there in 10 years.[4] The film won the top prize at the European Film Awards (Best European Film), thus making Ade the first woman to direct a movie that won the top prize at those awards.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Ade lives with director Ulrich Köhler and their two children in Berlin.[2][6]

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • 2005: Special Jury Award, Sundance Film Festival for The Forest for the Trees
  • 2005: Best Feature Film - Grand Prize, IndieLisboa - International Independent Film Festival for The Forest for the Trees
  • 2005: Best Film, nomination for the German Film Award for The Forest for the Trees
  • 2005: Best Feature Film, Cine Jove Valencia Film Festival for The Forest for the Trees
  • 2005: Best Actress: Eva Löbau, Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival for The Forest for the Trees
  • 2009: Silver Bear – Jury Grand Prix, Berlinale, for Everyone Else
  • 2009: Silver Bear– Best Actress for Birgit Minichmayr, Berlinale, for Everyone Else
  • 2010: Nominated for Best Film, Best Direction and Best Female Lead for Birgit Minichmayr, German Film Award for Everyone Else
  • 2010: Best Direction and FIPRESCI Critics’ Award, Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema for Everyone Else
  • 2010: Main Prize, International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund for Everyone Else
  • 2010: Best Actor for Lars Eidinger, Love Is Folly International Film Festival for Everyone Else
  • 2010: Best Actress for Birgit Minichmayr, Ourense Film Festival for Everyone Else
  • 2014: Berlin Art Prize in the category Film and Media Art
  • 2015: DEFA Foundation Award for Outstanding Performance in German Film for Komplizen Film
  • 2016: Academy Award nomination, Best Foreign Film, for "Toni Erdmann"


As director and screenwriter
  • 2000 Level 9, short film (script and direction)
  • 2001 Vegas, short film (script and direction)
  • 2003 The Forest for the Trees, feature film (script and direction)
  • 2009 Everyone Else, feature film (script and direction)
  • 2016 Toni Erdmann, feature film (script and direction)
As producer


  1. ^ a b "Maren Ade". Retrieved 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Manohla Dargis (May 22, 2016), The Director of ‘Toni Erdmann’ Savors Her Moment at Cannes New York Times.
  3. ^ Bell, Nicholas. "Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #9. Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann". Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ Richford, Rhonda. "'Money Monster,' 'The BFG,' 'The Nice Guys' Among Cannes 2016 Lineup". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  5. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (10 December 2016). "Toni Erdmann Sweeps European Film Awards – Full Winners List". Deadline. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  6. ^ "The Art of the Cringe Factor".

Further readingEdit

  • Take 100, The Future of Film: 100 New Directors, Phaidon Verlag, 2010
  • The Berlin School: Films from the Berliner Schule, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013
  • Wagner, Brigitta B. (2009). "New Paths for German Cinema". Film Quarterly. 62 (4): 69–71. doi:10.1525/fq.2009.62.4.69. JSTOR 10.1525/fq.2009.62.4.69.
  • Abel, Marco (2013). "Maren Ade: Filming between Sincerity and Irony". The Counter-cinema of the Berlin School. Boydell & Brewer. pp. 249–273. ISBN 9781571134387.

External linksEdit