Schmidt, Evelyn


Evelyn Schmidt, director, scriptwriter, and dramaturg, was born in Görlitz in 1949 and moved to Berlin in 1963. She spent a year as an apprentice with the East German television company and, in 1973, graduated with a degree in directing from the Film and Television Academy in Potsdam-Babelsberg.


Schmidt participated in Konrad Wolf's master class at the Academy of the Arts in East Berlin from 1973-1977. From 1977 to 1990 she worked as an assistant director, and later as a director at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films.


Evelyn Schmidt was one of the few female film directors in East Germany. Her DEFA debut film, Seitensprung, was showcased at the Berlin International Film Festival. Critical of her frank portrayal of a less-than-ideal socialist citizen in Das Fahrrad, East German officials turned down all invitations to screen the film abroad and, for three years, Schmidt was not allowed to make another film.


Since 1993, Schmidt has directed documentaries for television and produced thirteen plays at an experimental, “off”-theater in Berlin. She has taught at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg and, since 2003, at the private Drama School in Berlin-Charlottenburg.


Bibliography & More:

Cormican, Muriel. “Queer Moments and Crucial Optimism in Evelyn Schmidt’s Das Fahrrad (1981). Feminist German Studies, vol. 37 no.2, 2021. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2021. 27-52.


1991 Rote Socken im Grauen Kloster (Red Socks in the Grey Cloister, short documentary, TV)
1990 Der Hut (The Hat)  
1987 Felix und der Wolf (Felix and the Wolf)
1984 Auf dem Sprung (Crossroads)
1981 Das Fahrrad (The Bicycle)  
1979 Seitensprung (Infidelity)
1978 Der Übergang (The Border Crossing, assistant director)
1976 Lasset die Kindlein… (Let the Children... TV)
1974 Greta Heckenrose (short feature film)

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