Cast
Zürich, Schweiz

Biography

Joel Basman was born in Zurich on January 23, 1990. As a teenager, he made his first acting experiences in youth theatre projects at the city's Schauspielhaus. In 2004 – at the age of 14 – he was cast for the Swiss TV series "Lüthi und Blanc", in which he played the character of Zizou until 2006. Also in 2004, he made his screen debut in the award-winning comedy "Mein Name ist Eugen". This was followed by roles in several TV and film productions, including "Cannabis – Probieren geht über Regieren" (CH 2006) and "Tausend Ozeane" (CH/LU 2008). Basman's portrayal of an autistic person in the made-for-TV drama "Jimmie" (CH 2008) garnered him rave reviews and the Actor's Award at the Festival "Cinéma Tout Ecran" in Geneva.

At the 2008 Berlin IFF, he was named the Swiss Shooting Star for his performance in the drama "Luftbusiness". Basman also got a lot of attention – and won the Günther Strack Award – for his role in the controversial "Picco", in which he plays a young prisoner who is eventually tortured to death by his cellmates. After starring in the coming-of-age story "Songs of Love and Hate" (CH 2010), Basman played a killer in the thriller "Wer ist Hanna?" ("Hanna", USA/UK/DE 2011) and a crook in the children's film "Löwenzahn - Das Kinoabenteuer". He also had a supporting role in the successful TV miniseries "Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter" (2012).

Hailing from a family of designers, Basman presented his first own fashion collection in September 2013. After a small turn as a soldier in George Clooney's WWII drama "Monuments Men" (USA/DE) he played a paraplegic who robs a gas station in order to prove his love for a girl in the comedy "Vielen Dank für Nichts" in 2014.

Basman next had leading roles in the international co-production "Dawn" (2014) and the Swiss TV movie "Ziellos" (2014). He starred opposite Jonas Nay in the acclaimed drama "Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark" ("We Are Young. We Are Strong", 2014), which depicts the violent assault on asylum seekers by frustrated youths in East Germany in 1992. His performance garnered Basman the German Film Award for Best Supporting actor. Following his turn as a junkie in the "Tatort" episode "Borowski und der Himmel über Kiel" (2015, TV), he was one of the leads in Andreas Dresen's adaptation of the bestselling novel "Als wir traumten" ("As We Were Dreaming").

The same year, he won a Swiss Television Award for his performance in "Ziellos" and was one of the leads in the Academy Award-nominated drama "Unter dem Sand – Das Versprechen der Freiheit" ("Land of Mine", DK/DE). Following a supporting role in the thriller "Late Shift" (CH/GB 2016), he played poet Rainer Maria Rilke in Christian Schwochow's period drama "Paula" (DE/FR 2016). After turns in the "Tatort" episode "Kriegssplitter" (2017) and in "Es war einmal in Deutschland..." ("Bye Bye Germany", DE/BE/LU 2017). Basman was one of the leads in the coming-of-age drama "Es war einmal Indianerland" ("Once Upon A Time in Indian Country").