Frieder Wittich, scriptwriter and director, was one of the first winners of the Porsche Award back in 2004. The HFF Munich graduate impressed the jury with the spec spot “Keine Gegenfrage” and has made a name for himself in the German film industry over the 14 years since.
Born in Stuttgart in 1974, Frieder became interested in the film industry during his school days. He started out as an ENG assistant with various Sat1 productions, through which he gained an understanding of working in TV and film. At the same time, he began to write short stories, and this later made it possible for him to work as a co-author and assistant director on various feature film projects.
The Berliner-by-choice describes the time before attending film school as his “baker’s apprenticeship”, a period that allowed him to become familiar with all the various crafts of the film trade even before studying. “My father is an architect and I always found it incredible how many specialists have to work together to build a house. It’s exactly the same with filmmaking. A large number of skilled people work together as a team in order to realise a shared vision.”
When he was 24 years old, he applied to study Feature Film Directing at HFF Munich with the aim of becoming a director. He had always loved film. Now he was able to develop his own visions and realise them not only on paper, but also in the director’s chair. For him, teamwork has always been a key aspect of this.
In addition to his passion for feature films, the director of movies such as 13 Semester and Becks letzter Sommer has always also been interested in telling stories in shorter formats. His work in the field of advertising has allowed him to do exactly that. He recently filmed a campaign for Ikea and, working with the big fish advertising film production company, he has realised projects around the world for some highly successful corporations.
Festival awards always represented something special for Frieder as he progressed on his career path to becoming a sought-after director. “The Porsche Award was one of the first awards I won and I still remember clearly how happy I was when our film was awarded the prize. It was particularly special for me because the Porsche Award was held in the region in which I grew up.”
Frieder finds the growing international focus of the Porsche Award a positive development because it will give the next generation even more global attention. He also looks back fondly to the tour of the Porsche factory in Stuttgart he was able to go on after the award ceremony in 2004, where he saw first-hand how much care and attention to detail goes into the production of the individual vehicles.
However, attention to detail is something that develops with experience, which is why he advises budding film students to first gather as much experience as possible and – crucially – not to strive for perfection. The film school is a protected place where mistakes are allowed so that you don’t make them later in professional life.
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