Nickel, Gitta


Gitta Nickel was born on May 28, 1936 in Briensdorf (now Borzynowo, Poland). After graduating from high school, she studied education and German at Humboldt University in Berlin.


She became an assistant director for popular science films at the DEFA studios. As of 1959, she worked as an assistant director for Joachim Kunert, Ralf Kirsten and Konrad Wolf at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films, before returning to the Studio for Documentary Films in 1963 to work as an assistant to Karl Gass.


Nickel’s directorial debut was Wir verstehen uns, a film about German and Russian children in an East Berlin preschool. Her following films, both for television and cinema, focused on reports about daily life in East Germany. During her career, she also directed many portraits of famous artists, including theater and opera director Walter Felsenstein, dancer Gret Palucca, composer Paul Dessau and directors Konrad Wolf and István Szabó.


In 1988, Nickel drew attention with her documentary Zwei Deutsche, which builds on the photographs of two young soldiers in the last days of WWII to follow their very different biographies. In 2011, the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated film presented a homage to Nickel entitled Sometimes You Would Like to Fly. Gitta Nickel lives in Werder.



Festivals & Awards:

1973 First Prize, Oberhausen Film Festival, for Heuwetter
1973 Golden Dove, Leipzig International Film Festival, for Tay Ho - Das Dorf in der 4. Zone
1972 Silver Dove, Leipzig International Film Festival, for Heuwetter
1970 Silver Dove, Leipzig International Film Festival, for Sie


2003 Ich habe alles außer Zirkus gemacht – Der Filmkomponist Karl Ernst Sasse (I Did Everything Except Circus: Film Composer Karl Ernst Sasse, TV)
2001 Zu Hause in Ostpreußen (At Home in East Prussia, TV)
2000 Bunte Ehen (Mixed Marriages, TV)
1999 Die da in der Platte – Geschichten aus Marzahn (Stories from Marzahn, TV)
1996 Zwischen den Fronten (Between the Fronts, TV)
1996 Schalom Genossen (Shalom Comrades, TV)
1993 Das war die DDR: In Fürsorge für das Volk (That Was the GDR: For the People's Welfare, TV)
1993 Das war die DDR: Ich war Bürger der DDR (That Was the GDR: I Was A Citizen of the GDR, TV)
1993 István Szabó (TV)
1991 Leb’ wohl Deutschland (Farewell Germany, TV)
1990 Eine deutsche Geschichte – wir haben die Mauer durchbrochen (A German Story: We Broke through the Wall, TV)
1990 China - mein Traum, mein Leben (China: My Dream, My Life, TV)
1989 Den Wind auf der Haut spüren (Feel the Wind on Your Skin)
1988 Zwei Deutsche (Two Germans)
1987 Wie ein Fisch im Wasser (Like A Fish in Water)
1986 Wenn man eine Liebe hat (When You Have Someone to Love)
1982 Gundula – Jahrgang 58 (Gundula: Born in '58)
1981 Manchmal möchte man fliegen (Sometimes You Want to Fly, TV)
1980 Verbrennt nicht unsere Erde (Do Not Scorch Our Earth)
1977 Konrad Wolf  (TV)
1975 Morgen kommen die Polinnen (... the Polish Farmgirls Are Coming Tomorrow, TV)
1974 Paul Dessau (TV)
1973 Tay Ho – Das Dorf in der 4. Zone (Tay Ho: The Village in the 4th Zone)
1972 Heuwetter (Harvesting Weather)
1971 Gret Palucca (TV)
1970 Walter Felsenstein (TV)
1970 Sie (She)
1965 Wir verstehen uns (We Like Each Other)

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