Oliver Schmitz is a South African director who lives in Berlin Germany and works both in film and television as a director, writer, and producer.
In 2023 he restored his iconic Anti-Apartheid film MAPANTSULA, and it was showcased in Berlinale Classics at the Berlin Film Festival the same year, with works of David Cronenberg, Charlie Chaplin, and Stanley Kramer. He has made five movies for cinema, four of which have screened in official selection in Cannes - one being the Parisian omnibus film PARIS JE T’AIME (PLACE DES FETES) with fellow directors – the Coen brothers, Gus van Sant, Tom Tykwer and Alexander Payne amongst others. The other movies are all South African subjects, the previous of which, LIFE ABOVE ALL (GELIEBTES LEBEN/ LE SECRET DE CHANDA), made it onto the Oscars shortlist for best Foreign Film (2010) and won the jury prize at the Dubai International Film festival (2010), also winning the Francois Chalais award at Cannes, and the Audience award and Golden Alhambra nomination at the 2011 Granada Film festival.
SHEPHERDS AND BUTCHERS (2016) with Steve Coogan and Andrea Riseborough, premiered at the Berlinale 2016, where it won an audience award and Best Directing at the South African Film and Television Awards.
He also has an active television career, directing, amongst others, the award-winning comedy series TÜRKISCH FÜR ANFÄNGER(on Netflix) and DOCTOR’S DIARY, winning respectively, Best Series, at the German Television Awards, the German Comedy Awards and a prestigious Grimme Prize. He directed the first episodes of the ZDF primetime comedy series DAS PUBERTIER(on Amazon Prime) and the pilot for popular RTL series, ST.MAIK( nominated for the German Comedy Prize).
He has worked with amongst others, Brendan Fraser, Andrea Riseborough, Steve Coogan, Elias Mbarek, Florian David Fitz and has projects in development with Vanessa Redgrave, Emily Beecham, Lashana Lynch and Tim Roth.