Stahnke, Günter


Günter Stahnke was born in Misdroy (now: Miedzyzdroje, Poland) on October 10, 1928 and grew up in Berlin. He studied at the West Berlin Academy for Acting. After engagements at theaters in Potsdam, Frankfurt and Berlin, he decided to study education. Before he joined the DEFA Studio as an assistant to director Konrad Wolf in the late 1950s, he worked as a film journalist.


Stahnke’s debut as a filmmaker was with the children’s film Peter und das Einmaleins der Sieben (1962) at DEFA. His next project, which started his collaboration with scriptwriter and author Günter Kunert, was a television film opera for children, Vom König Midas, followed by the banned television opera Fetzers Flucht with Ekkehard Schall in the leading part. Their next project, Monolog für einen Taxifahrer, was labeled by officials as formalistic and nihilistic and not shown until after the fall of the Wall—at the Berlin Academy of Arts on January 26, 1990. His next film brought Stahnke back to the DEFA Studios. He was offered the production Der Frühling braucht Zeit, a feature film about a legal case at a gas plant. However, not only was this film withdrawn from distribution shortly after its premiere, Stahnke was also dismissed from the studio. Der Frühling braucht Zeit was not released until January 1990 and awarded with Honorable Mention by the FIPRESCI and Interfilm jury at the 1990 Berlin International Film Festival.


After two years without work, Stahnke found a new engagement in 1968 as director at the Metropol Theater in Berlin, where he produced, among others, Cole Porter’s musical Cancan. Beginning in the early 1960s, Stahnke worked for (East) German television and directed and wrote countless entertaining television plays, series and shows, including the film Telegenerell that was awarded the Chaplin Prize for Best Comedy at the 1969 Montreux International TV Festival.


Günter Stahnke, who has been married with actress Helga Piur since 1974, lives in Brandenburg.


1996 Der Millionär (The Millionaire, TV)
1991 Aerolia (TV series)
1989 Schlüssel zum Glück (The Key to Happiness, TV)
1986 Leute sind auch nur Menschen (People Are also Only Human, TV mini-series)
1982 Familie Birnchen (Family Birnchen, TV)
1976-86 Maxe Baumann aus Berlin (Maxe Baumann from Berlin, TV series)
1975 Fischzüge (Hauls, TV)
1975 Sommerhaus (Summer House, TV)
1972 Ein Engel reist ins Paradies (An Angel Travels to Paradise, TV)
1969 Telegenerell (Television in General, TV)
1965 Der Frühling braucht Zeit (Spring Takes Time)
1964 Doppelt oder nichts (Double or Nothing, TV mini-series)
1962 Monolog für einen Taxifahrer (Monolog for a Taxi Driver, TV)
1962 Fetzers Flucht (Fetzer’s Escape, TV)
1962 Vom König Midas (About King Midas)
1962 Peter und das Einmaleins mit Sieben (Peter and the Seven Times Table)


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