Life & Work


photography by doro carl, Hamburg


About the camerawoman, director and producer

susan was born in Hamburg, Germany. Before studying at the Academy of Film and Television in Munich in 1995, susan joined practical training as a forest ranger, cook and a veterinarian in the 1980ies. After secondary school and studying business and commerce in Hamburg she went in 1990 for longer stays in Italy and France, developing her horsebackriding and photographic skills. In the early nineties susan explored the advertising business, working with filmproductions and photographers. From 1993-1997 she was travelling the world taping the sound for TV-features.

At the filmacademy (1995-2002) susan became deeply impressed by the neorealistic italian epoque and the social and artistic aspects in films by Raymond Depardon and Ken Loach (spending a week of lectures with Loach himself). In combination with lessons by journalist Gerd Ruge (who arranged practical training as correspondent-trainee in the studios of ARD and ZDF in Nairobi, Kenia) she explored a wide branch of possibilities how to tell stories in pictures and sounds. At HFF Munich susan produced, shot and directed several films that were shown at int. filmfestivals and on TV. For example 1996 everyday life, 1999 l’amour chez TATI (ZDF-ARTE), 2000 OSTWÄRTS (ARD: RBB, HR, MDR), 2003 Nulla si sa, tutto s’immagina … secondo Fellini (ARTE).

susan’s first feature film after filmacademy was 2006 Shadows of Fate, a refugee childhood (ARD: BR). The documentary was shot in Chad/Afrika in a refugee camp with Darfuri children. After finishing 2008 Wasser und Seife (ZDF) she spent one year exploring the film-distribution business and distributed the film on her own in 2009. Theatrical release took part in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on 35mm prints.

From then on 2 films have been realised over the years. A film about age and death in Sun City, Arizona Gestorben wird Morgen, out in 2018. And  parallel, a feature she went to Nepal for many times during the past years: Urmila – my memory is my power which was pre-listed for the german film award LOLA and premiered in Toronto at Hot Docs in 2016. In December 2016 a circle was closed when the documentary was shown in Nepal at KIMFF filmfestival, where the film was shot. Many of the powerfull Kamalari girls and Urmilas family were invited as guests on stage. Finally the film won the main price of the festival.

With her film production company gluthfilm she produced her films Wasser und Seife, Urmila-my memory is my power and Gestorben wird Morgen.

Up to date she works as a freelance camera-person for documentary films all around the world. So far she was in Mexico, Guyana, Brasil, China, Israel, Bhutan, Japan, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenia, Korea, Namibia, Seychells, Senegal, Chad, USA, Europe. She speaks English, French, Italian and German.

susan has given lectures at the following institutions: the Academy of Film and Television in Munich / Prof. Heiner Stadler, University of Bayreuth, Iwalewa Institut / Dr. Thorolf Lipp, Filmakademie Ludwigsburg / Prof. Dr. Ebbo Demant, Stuttgart Media University / Prof. Stefan Grandinnetti, Protestant University of Applied Sciences Freiburg / Prof. Dr. Dirk Oesselmann.

As a jurymember susan has been invited to international fimfestivals.
A first retrospective of her work has been presented at Brussels in 2003 “Filmer à tout prix”.


Awards, Nominations, Filmfestivals

NORTH GERMAN FILMPRICE Int. Nordic Filmdays, Lübeck
BEST DIRECTION “Riverrun” Int. Filmfestival, USA
BEST FEATURE FILM Int. Milano Filmfestival, Italy
BEST DOCUMENTARY Int. Feminafilmfestival, Czech Republik
BEST DOCUMENTARY fff-AWARD Int. Doc Filmfestival “dokfest”, Munich
BEST FILM “KIMFF” Int. Mountain Filmfestival, Nepal
BEST DOCUMENTARY “NAIFF” Int.Filmfestival, Washington, US
PRICE OF THE MAYOR Int. Mountain Filmfestival, Zakopane, PL

GERMAN FILMPRICE LOLA (pre-nomination), Berlin
BEST DIPLOMA FILM, Babelsberger Medienpreise
BEST CAMERA “femmetotale” Int. Womens Filmfestival, Dortmund

Prädikat besonders wertvoll “Urmila-my memory is my power”
Prädikat besonders wertvoll “Wasser und Seife”
Prädikat wertvoll “Playing Hooky-getting old is not for sissies”

Sorted filmfestivals
Int. Filmfestival, Montreal “nouveau cinèma”
Int. Filmfestival, Rotterdam “IFFR”
Int. Filmfestival, Toronto “Hot Docs”
Int. Documentary Filmfestival, Nyon “visions du reèl”
Int. Documentary Filmfestival, Leipzig “dok-leipzig”
Int. Documentary Filmfestival, Copenhagen “cphdox”
Int. Documentary Filmfestival, Jihlava
Int. Documentary Filmfestival, St. Petersburg “message to men”
Int. Filmfestival, New York City “Margret Mead”
Int. Womens Film Festival, Seoul “IWFFIS”
Int. Documentary Filmfestival, Brussels “Filmer à tout prix”
Int. Womens Film Festival, Creteil
Int. Short Filmfestival, Villa do Conde “Curtas”
Int. Short Filmfestival, Palm Springs
Int. Filmfestival, Hamburg
Int. Filmfestival, Hof