An intercultural reference, a crucial character in German cinema thanks to his unique vision on social issues and his versatility when putting a story on celluloid. He displays longing, decadence and fortune to perfection, as well as the thunderous atmosphere that engulfs immigration, differences and generational clashes in our daily globalized lives.
This is Fatih Akın, born in Hamburg in 1973 to Turkish parents. He studied Visual Communication at the Fine Arts School of Hamburg. After a couple of short films, his debut feature Short Sharp Shock (1998) was the catalyst for his successful film career. This film, about three friends of different backgrounds who get sucked into the world of Hamburg’s organized crime, brought him immediate success and several awards including the Bronze Leopard at Locarno and the Bávaro Film Award for Best Young Filmmaker. He followed that with Im Juli, a road movie with a prophetic love story; the documentary Wir haben vergessen zurückzukehren in the year 2001, as well as Solino, a drama about an Italian family that migrates to Germany, shot in 2002.
In the year 2004, Fatih Akın attracted the attention of critics worldwide with Head-On, a film that won the Golden Bear at Berlinale and prestigious award bestowed by FIPRESCI. This is the story of Cahit and Sibel, characters in search of redemption while trying to avoid the pleas of alcohol, drugs, family dishonor and even suicide; only marriage can save them. With Head-On, Akın appeals once more to the transversality of socio-cultural conflicts through these encounters among its characters.
With The Edge of Heaven he won Best Screenplay at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. This film tells the story of a man from Istanbul in search of the daughter of his father’s ex-girlfriend. The films that make his filmography include the documentary Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul and a segment from New York, I Love You, where he directed Turkish actor Uğur Yücel, and Taiwanese actress Shu Qi. He also made the comedy Soul Kitchen, the historical drama The Cut and the film Tschick, that tells the adventures of two teenagers who steal a car and take it on a road trip that changes their lives.
His most recent film, In The Fade, competed for the Palm D’Or at the latest edition of the Cannes Film Festival. Starring a brilliant performance by Diane Kruger, the film touches upon the gloabalized war we’re currently living in: terrorism. Fatih Akın presents pieces of his auctorial voice: Hamburg, rifts, cultural conflicts, minorities, marginalization and gender inequality, all centered on the inhumane of the National Socialist Underground (NSU).
The Guanajuato International Film Festival in its 20th edition is honored to pay a deserved tribute to Fatih Akın, a contemporary director who, all the way from Europe, sets a new stage in the film industry and worldwide disposition to break every border that steps in the way of cultural communion.