The Michael Ballhaus Foundation
Michael Ballhaus is one of the most significant working Directors of Photography. His path as a cinematographer began as a cameraman for the German TV channel Südwestfunk (SWF), leading him to Berlin where he collaborated with various German directors, including Lilienthal. In 1971, he met Rainer Werner Fassbinder, with whom he realized fifteen films, including THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT, THE WORLD ON A WIRE, MARTHA, FISTFIGHT OF FREEDOM, DESPAIR, THE MARRIAGE OF MARIA BROWN and LILI MARLEEN.
In 1981, he traveled to New York to make DEAR MR. WONDERFUL with Peter Lilienthal. There he met Martin Scorsese, with whom he has consistently collaborated ever since. Their films include, among many, AFTER HOURS, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, GOOD FELLAS, THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, GANGS OF NEW YORK and, most recently, THE DEPARTED, for which Martin Scorsese was awarded an Oscar in 2007. Films by directors like John Sayles, Mike Nichols, Francis Ford Coppola, Barry Levinson, Wolfgang Petersen and Robert Redford also bear the signature cinematography of Director of Photography Michael Ballhaus.
Besides New York and Los Angeles, Berlin remained Michael Ballhaus’ second home. Five years ago, he returned as professor to the school where he had taught the first generation in 1968 and now continues to regularly instruct seminars at the the dffb.
The Foundation is a registered non-profit and operates under the supervision of the Stiftungsaufsicht Berlin. The foundation is operated by a six-person board of directors. The Foundation strives to expand its work for the young talent of cinematography in Berlin and is happy for every offer of collaboration, donation or sponsorship.
The Goal of the Foundation
To strengthen the profession of Director of Photography and, most of all, to encourage young people to make their dreams reality, Michael Ballhaus founded the Michael Ballhaus Foundation with the award money he received from the Lucky Strike Designer Award to support students of cinematography at the dffb. Every year, one student of cinematography is awarded the Michael Ballhaus Prize for outstanding work at the dffb.
If you would like to learn more about the Michael Ballhaus Foundation, please contact
Phone +49 (0)30 257 59-113