Dominik Graf

Dominik Graf

Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch, Musik, Produzent
*06.09.1952 München

Biography

Dominik Graf was born September 6, 1972, as the son of the actors Selma Urfer and Robert Graf. In 1972, he took up German language and literature studies as well as musicology at the University of Munich. In 1974, however, he switched to the Academy for Television & Film (HFF), where he shot the short film "Carlas Briefe" during his first academic year. In addition to his studies, he wrote screenplays for the TV series "Auf Achse". Furthermore, he played small roles in feature films such as "Der Mädchenkrieg" (1977, Alf Brustellin, Bernhard Sinkel). He also took on the leading role in Heidi Genée's comedy "1 + 1 = 3" (1979).

He received the Bavarian Film Award for his graduation film "Der kostbare Gast" (1979). Subsequently, Graf concentrated on his television work and directed several episodes for series such as "Familientag" and "Köberle kommt". With his work on the TV series "Der Fahnder" and the "Tatort" episode "Schwarzes Wochenende" (1985), Graf was able to establish himself as a specialist for action and crime movies.

Mostly produced by the Bavaria Atelier GmbH, some of his movies have also found their way onto the big screen, e.g. "Treffer" (1984), a movie depicting the dreams of three adolescent motorcyclists, and "Tiger, Löwe, Panther" (1989), a drama about three women around their thirties trying to get away from their daily lives. With the TV movie "Bei Thea" (1986), Graf established himself as a sensible director of films depicting German-Jewish issues. His attempts at comedic filmmaking, however, turned out to be less successful. Examples include the 1985 comedy "Drei gegen Drei" (starring the German band "Trio"), the genre mixture "Spieler" (1990), and the Bavarian doctor"s skit "Dr. Knock" (1997).

His action movies, on the other hand, have been praised for their tension-filled plot constructions as well as the professional directing. His thriller movie "Die Katze" ("The Cat", 1987), depicting a bank robbery with hostage-taking, won him the German Film Award for Best Director. Leading actor Götz George also starred in the ecological thriller series "Morlock", for which Graf contributed the movie "Die Verflechtung" (1992). While the ensemble film "Die Sieger" (1994), revolving around the members of a special police unit and produced with great expense by Günter Rohrbach, flopped at the box office, critics praised the movie as a technically outstanding genre piece.

During the following years, Dominik Graf worked mostly for television. As far as his choice of subjects is concerned, he kept switching between controversial genre pieces such as "Sperling und der brennende Arm", melodramas such as "Bittere Unschuld" (starring Elmar Wepper in the leading role), and poetic movies such as "Die Freunde der Freunde".

In 2002, Graf returned to the cinema with the disputed movie "Der Felsen" ("A Map of the Heart"). Depicting the amour fou between a teenage delinquent and an adult woman, the film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and caused controversial reactions – not least because Graf and his cinematographer Benedict Neuenfels had shot the movie on video both for cost reasons and out of aesthetic considerations.

Subsequently, Graf directed two more highly-praised TV productions: "Hotte im Paradies", in which he told the story of an unsuccessful Berlin pimp, and "Kalter Frühling", a drama depicting the story of a young woman who weaves a web of intrigues in order to take over her parent's business. After finishing work on "Der rote Kakadu" ("The Red Cockatoo"), a big screen movie in which he depicted the story of the legendary Dresden dance club of the same name, Graf returned to television again. His crime movie "Er sollte tot", which was part of the "Polizeiruf 110" series, contained scenes of such severe violence that the TV station ARD decided to offer its audience an online discussion with the director after the broadcast.

For his work on "Eine Stadt wird erpresst", in which he depicted both a criminal case and the downfall of East Germany's countryside, Graf received rave reviews once again. Graf then took on a completely different topic in "Das Gelübde" ("The Vow", 2007), a period piece about the relationship between Clemens von Brentano and the nun Anna Katharina vom Emmerick. Two years later, he won another Grimme Award for "Kommisar Süden und der Luftgitarrist" starring Ulrich Noethen and Martin Feifel.

Following his contribution to the omnibus film "Deutschland 09 - 13 kurze Filme zur Lage der Nation", Dominik Graf started working on his most ambitious project to date: The ten-part TV miniseries "Im Angesicht des Verbrechens" is an intricate crime saga about the Russian Mafia in Berlin. Although the 10 million Euro production had to overcome several problems, the project was an overwhelming critical success: After its premiere at the 2010 Berlin IFF and its first run on the Arte and ARD networks, the series went on to win multiple awards.

At the 2011 Forum section of the Berlinale, Graf presented "Komm mit nicht nach" ("Don't Follow Me Arund") as his contribution to "Dreileben", a highly anticipated collaboration between Graf and directors Christian Petzold and Christoph Hochhäusler: Each of them independently made one film, which was to be connected to the others by the shared narrative motif of the search for an escaped murderer. "Cassandras Warnung", another entry in the TV series "Polizeiruf 110", premiered at the 2011 Munich Film Festival.

The same year, the TV crime drama "Das unsichtbare Mädchen", starring Elmar Wepper as an aging police detective, was screened at the Hofer Filmtage before being aired in 2012. At the 2012 Berlin IFF, Graf presented "Lawinen der Erinnerung", a documentary feature about the late filmmaker Oliver Storz, who passed away in 2011.

Since 1990, Graf shared a professorship with Peter Lilienthal and Peter F. Bringmann at the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne. Since 2004, he holds a professorship for Feature Film Directing at the International Filmschool Cologne.

Filmography

2013 Aus der Tiefe der Zeit
Director
 
2013 Es werde Stadt!
Director, Screenplay
 
2012-2014 Die geliebten Schwestern
Director, Screenplay
 
2011/2012 Lawinen der Erinnerung
Director, Screenplay
 
2011 Das unsichtbare Mädchen
Director
 
2010/2011 Cassandras Warnung
Director
 
2010/2011 Komm' mir nicht nach
Director, Screenplay
 
2008/2009 Der Weg, den wir nicht zusammen gehen
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
2008/2009 Deutschland '09 - 13 kurze Filme zur Lage der Nation
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
2008-2010 Im Angesicht des Verbrechens
Director, Screenplay
 
2007/2008 Kommissar Süden und der Luftgitarrist
Director
 
2007/2008 Auge in Auge - Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte
Participation
 
2007 Das Gelübde
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
2006 Fremder Bruder
Cast
 
2006 Eine Stadt wird erpresst
Director, Adaptation
 
2006 Musik im Fahrtwind
Participation
 
2005/2006 Er sollte tot ...
Director
 
2004-2006 Der Rote Kakadu
Director
 
2003/2004 Der scharlachrote Engel
Director
 
2003/2004 Kalter Frühling
Director
 
2002 Hotte im Paradies
Director
 
2001/2002 Die Freunde der Freunde
Cast, Director, Screenplay
 
2001/2002 Der Felsen
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1999/2000 München - Geheimnisse einer Stadt
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Music
 
1998/1999 Bittere Unschuld
Director, Adaptation
 
1998/1999 Deine besten Jahre
Director
 
1997/1998 Sperling und der brennende Arm
Director, Music
 
1997 Der Skorpion
Director, Music
 
1996/1997 Doktor Knock
Director, Music
 
1996/1997 Das Wispern im Berg der Dinge
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay, Music
 
1996 Reise nach Weimar
Director
 
1995/1996 Irren ist männlich
Cast
 
1995 Frau Bu lacht
Director
 
1993/1994 Frauen sind was Wunderbares
Music
 
1993/1994 Die Sieger
Director, Music
 
1993 Nachtwache
Director, Music
 
1993 Verhör am Sonntag
Director, Music
 
1993 Die Verflechtung
Director, Screenplay, Music
 
1990/1991 Baal
Director, Music
 
1990/1991 Bis ans Ende der Nacht
Director, Music
 
1990/1991 Das Versprechen
Director
 
1990-1992 Das Ende einer Reise
Voice
 
1989/1990 Spieler
Director, Co-author, Music
 
1988/1989 Tiger, Löwe, Panther
Cast, Director, Music
 
1987/1988 Die Beute
Director
 
1987/1988 Die Katze
Director
 
1986/1987 Glückliche Zeiten
Director
 
1986/1987 Bei Thea
Director
 
1986/1987 Über dem Abgrund
Director
 
1986 Der kleine Bruder
Director
 
1986 Reise für den blassen Mann
Director
 
1985 Drei gegen Drei
Director
 
1984/1985 Cop Conny
Director
 
1984/1985 Lauter gute Freunde
Director
 
1984/1985 Liebe macht blind
Director
 
1984/1985 Tango im Bauch
Cast
 
1984-1986 Schwarzes Wochenende
Director, Screenplay
 
1983/1984 Treffer
Cast, Director, Music
 
1983 Ein König ohne Reich
Director
 
1983 Der Dichter vom Bahnhof
Director
 
1982 Danni
Cast
 
1981/1982 Das zweite Gesicht
Director, Screenplay, Music
 
1981 Running Blue
Director, Screenplay
 
1980/1981 Schwarze Fracht
Screenplay
 
1980 Tommys Trip
Screenplay
 
1979 Geteilte Freude
Cast
 
1979 Der kostbare Gast
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1979 1 + 1 = 3
Cast
 
1977/1978 Keiner kann was dafür
Cast
 
1976/1977 Der Mädchenkrieg
Cast
 
1974/1975 Carlas Briefe
Director, Screenplay, Producer