Volker Schlöndorff, born 31 March 1939, is a German film director, screenwriter and producer, and he has worked in Germany, France and the United States. He was a prominent member of the New German Cinema of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which also included Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Margarethe von Trotta and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

He won an Oscar as well as the Palme d’Or at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival for The Tin Drum (1979), the film version of the novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass.

What Volker Schlöndorff said about Bif&st in his 2017 masterclass

«This festival reminds me of Cannes in the golden years»

The last masterclass of Bif&st 2017 at the Petruzzelli Theatre was held by Volker Schlöndorff who received the Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence on 19 April. Before the meeting, moderated by the critic Enrico Magrelli, the latest work, at that time, by the German director, Return to Montauk, was screened for the first time in Italy with great success after the world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. “If it did well here in Bari, it means that it will be liked everywhere”, argued the author speaking perfectly in Italian also for having lived for a long time in the Florence area.

“In 1966 I was in Cannes with my first film, Young Törless – added Schlöndorff – and there I met, among others, Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda but also Brazilian and Argentine directors: there was a fantastic atmosphere, we all felt like a big family. The same atmosphere that I found here at Bif&st that reminds me of Cannes in the golden years”.



  • 1966: Young Törless
  • 1967: A Degree of Murder
  • 1969: Man on Horseback
  • 1971: The Morals of Ruth Halbfass
  • 1972: A Free Woman
  • 1975: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
  • 1976: Coup de Grâce
  • 1979: The Tin Drum
  • 1981: The Circle of Deceit
  • 1984: Swann in Love
  • 1990: The Handmaid’s Tale
  • 1991: Voyager
  • 1996: The Ogre
  • 1998: Palmetto
  • 2000: The Legend of Rita
  • 2004: The Ninth Day
  • 2006: Strike
  • 2007: Ulzhan
  • 2012: Calm at Sea
  • 2014: Diplomacy
  • 2017: Return to Montauk

TV films

  • 1970: Baal
  • 1971: The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach
  • 1974: Übernachtung in Tirol
  • 1985: Death of a Salesman
  • 1987: A Gathering of Old Men
  • 2005: Enigma – Eine uneingestandene Liebe

Documentaries and shorts subjects

  • 1960: Who cares? (short)
  • 1963: Méditerranée (documentary)
  • 1967: Der Paukenspieler (segment “Ein unheimlicher Moment”)
  • 1975: The Novels of Henry James (TV series, episode “Georgina’s Reasons”)
  • 1977: Just for Fun, Just for Play (documentary)
  • 1978: Germany in Autumn (segment “Die verschobene Antigone”)
  • 1980: The Candidate (documentary)
  • 1983: War and Peace (short)
  • 1992: Billy Wilder, How Did You Do It? (documentary, aka Billy Wilder Speaks)
  • 1992: The Michael Nyman Songbook (documentary)
  • 1996: Lumière sur un massacre (TV series, episode “Le parfait soldat”)
  • 2002: Ein Produzent hat Seele oder er hat keine
  • 2002: Ten Minutes Older: The Cello (segment “The Enlightenment”)


  • 1978 Special Recognition award (shared) at the 28th Berlin International Film Festival for Germany in Autumn
  • 1979 Palme d’Or Cannes Film Festival The Tin Drum
  • 1980 Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film The Tin Drum
  • 2004 Bavarian Film Awards Honorary Award
  • 2009 Camerimage Lifetime Achievement Award