10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

Film scene from "The Lost One" (picture alliance / dpa)

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1951: "The Lost One"

This was the first and only directorial debut by German actor Peter Lorre, pictured here. His film "The Lost One" is one of the most impressive films of the postwar era. The film about a scientist (Peter Lorre) who worked for the Nazis until 1945 and was then overcome by guilt, is a somber and impressive work.

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1966: "Young Törless"

When Volker Schlöndorff presented his movie "Young Törless" in Nantes, France, in March 1966, nobody would have thought that the young German director would one day win an Oscar. Schlöndorff's film was based on a novel by Robert Musil.

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1966: "Yesterday Girl"

A few months after Schlöndorff's debut, Alexander Kluge presented his first film, "Yesterday Girl", which won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Kluge was one of the leading figures of the New German Cinema movement, which turned former West Germany's film world upside down. "Yesterday Girl" was intelligent, playful and funny and marked a new start for German cinema.

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1967: "Lust for Love"

Director Edgar Reitz was showered with praise for his first work. He received an award in Venice for best film debut in 1967. The film "Lust for Love" ("Mahlzeiten" in German) took a deep look at postwar West Germany and the middle class that was shaken by doubt just before the revolutionary year of 1968. Later, Reitz would achieve world fame for his epic 32-episode film series, "Heimat" ("Home").

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1969: "Love is Colder than Death"

Another director to celebrate his debut during this era was Rainer Werner Fassbinder. "Love is Colder than Death" is an homage to French and American gangster movies. Fassbinder's first movie, produced within a short period of time and on a tight budget, had a strong impact on German film. It marked the beginning of Fassbiner's exciting career.

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1993: "Deadly Maria"

1993 was the year in which the remarkable success of director Tom Tykwer began. His debut film "Deadly Maria" already showed his talent for creating an exciting visual style, as well as his talent for developing his own aesthetic. The film tells the story of a woman who tries to liberate herself from the limits of bourgeois society.

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1995: "After Five in the Forest Primeval"

The debut work by Hans-Christian Schmid was first broadcast on television and became a surprise hit. "After Five in the Forest Primeval" is a funny movie about youth, puberty and parents looking back to their own youth. Like Schmid's later works, it's a sensitively made psychological study with believable characters.

Film scene from "Beyond Silence" with a young woman in front of a mirror (picture-alliance/kpa)

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1996: "Beyond Silence"

In 1996, young director Caroline Link impressed critics with her wonderful debut film "Beyond Silence," a poetic portrait of a young woman whose parents are deaf. Link even received an Oscar nomination for her first movie. Seven years later, she actually did win an Oscar for her film "Nowhere in Africa."

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

1998: "Short Sharp Shock"

Another debut work that much affected German film was "Short Sharp Shock" by 25-year old director Fatih Akin. In a highly emotional style new to German cinema, the movie tells the story of three young men in the Hamburg district of Altona. Akin, the son of Turkish guest workers in Germany, became renowned for producing films featuring the tensions between local culture and globalization.

10 outstanding film debuts by German directors

2006: "The Lives of Others"

It's hard to believe that "The Lives of Others" is the first film of director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The film, which tells the story of a Stasi official spying on his victims, is so artfully made that is is hard to believe the director did not have more experience. The film won an Oscar in 2007.

A debut film often marks the beginning of a glorious career. Here are some of the most outstanding German debut films of all time.