Life & Work

About the camerawoman, director, producer and sometimes distributor

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 (lectures with Loach himself at the academy!). 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 Very Senior – Attitude is everything (ARD: NDR), premiered in 2018 at DOC NYC and self-distributed 2019-2020 in D-A-CH. Parallel, a feature she went to Nepal for many times during the past years was realised: Urmila – my memory is my power (Al Jazeera, DW), 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. 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 Very Senior – Attitude is everything.

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, Cuba, China, Russia, Israel, Bhutan, Japan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Korea, Kenia, Namibia, Maroc, Seychells, Senegal, USA, Europe. She speaks English, French, Italian and German.

Susan has given lectures at the following institutions: University of film Babelsberg Konrad Wolf / Academy of Film and Television Munich / University of Bayreuth, Iwalewa Institut / Academy of film, Ludwigsburg / Stuttgart Media University / Protestant University of Applied Sciences Freiburg.

As a jurymember Susan has been invited to international fimfestivals.
A film-retrospective has been presented in Brussels 2003 at “Filmer à tout prix”.
Susan is member of the german documentaries association / agdok.