Claudia Schmid, born in Cologne in 1956, initially studied music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with the aim of becoming a solo flutist. In 1978, she turned to visual arts and sculpture, painting and conceptual art at the Art Academies of Vienna and Düsseldorf. Since 1986, she has worked as a freelance artist in Italy, Düsseldorf and Cologne, and received various awards and scholarships. Her sculptures were exhibited at the galleries Guenzani in Milan, Carini in Florence and Buchholz in Cologne.
In 1991, Claudia Schmid began her work as a writer of film scripts and director for various German public broadcasting companies. Over the years she made about 15 documentaries, focusing primarily on fine arts and the life and work of artists. “The Silence of Innocence – The Artist Gottfried Helnwein” (116 min.) was her first full-length documentary for cinema. This was followed by the cinema documentaries “The Redrawn World – The Artist Heinz Emigholz” (64 min.) , “Richard Deacon – In Between” (89 min.), “Voices of Violence“ (87 min.) and „For all the World to See“ (90 min.). „The Endless Moment – The Painter Rolf Kuhlmann“ (135 min.) is her latest documentary about an unusual artist and his work.
Claudia Schmid's approach to her artist films - both in terms of content and in its dramaturgical structure - is shaped by her experience as a sculptor, painter and musician. The dramaturgical film structure resembles a sculpture. The different narrative strands and picture levels are nested, superimposed and branching like in a Bach fugue and form a complex three-dimensional body made of film images and interview strands.
Schmid would like to give a deep insight into the creative thinking and work of an artist, make their idiosyncratic attitudes and visions visible and at the same time reflect on socially relevant topics. She is always interested in original personalities, combative "dreamers", visionaries, pioneers or revolutionaries. Since she sees herself as a filmmaker and artist, she immerses herself in an intensive dialogue with the artists during the creative process, which in turn releases creativity. Her films lead the viewer into the essence of art and reflect the difficult challenges and obstacles, the magic and the transformation processes that every artist goes through. Her artistic background gives her an intimate and thematic deep access to the artists and their works, which makes her films something special.
In the last third of her current documentary “The Endless Moment – The Painter Rolf Kuhlmann”, there will be a striking turning point, which will lead to radical changes in the images due to intense arguments between the artist and the filmmaker. An extremely exciting, touching process that offers the film an unusual, dramatic climax.
In terms of content, the two films “Voices of Violence” and “For all the World to See” are an exception in Schmid's film work. They are devoted to the topic of “Violence against women” and shed light on the global structures of power and violence based on the four countries DR Congo, Benin, Bangladesh and Germany. In order to find the "invisible" women in remote bush villages, who have experienced extreme violence, and to give them a voice, Schmid travelled through these countries alone for months and, despite the danger, lived close to the women in the conflict-ridden areas. The films relentlessly immerse themselves in the violent processes and do not allow crowding out.
For her current documentary film "The Endless Moment - The Painter Rolf Kuhlmann, Claudia Schmid also took over the production for the first time.
2020 „The Endless Moment – The Painter Rolf Kuhlmann“, 135 min.
2017 „For all the World to See“, 90 min.
2016 “Voices of Violence“, 87 min.
2013 “Richard Deacon – In Between”, 89 min.
2009 “The Redrawn World – The Artist Heinz Emigholz”, 64 min.
2009 “The Silence of Innocence – The Artist Gottfried Helnwein”, 116 min.
Claudia Schmid's films have been successfully shown at various international film festivals and in many cinemas, as well as in renowned galleries and museums such as the Tate in London, the museum K21 in Düsseldorf, the Folkwang Museum in Wuppertal or the Prague City Gallery. In 2003 her film “Attempts to Love – The Artist Werner Schroeter” (64 min.) received the “Grand Premier Prix“ at the Festival International du Film d´Art, Paris.
For me, the visual and performing arts are the most intensive catalysts to recognize the essentials of life. Above all, it gives you the opportunity to illuminate the innermost of a topic, to recognize new connections, to develop visions and to transform something. One can freely deal with space and time, bring together opposites that seem incompatible in life and advance into dimensions that initially remain closed in reality.
Cinema, Festivals, Screenings and Awards
2017 THE SILENCE OF INNOCENCE - THE ARTIST GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN is shown on the occasion of the large Helnwein exhibition "The Child" in the "Werner Berg Museum, Bleiburg".
2017 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN is shown during the exhibition "About Time" on the occasion of the awarding of the "Vogelmann Prize" to Richard Deacon.
2017 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN is shown as part of the exhibition "Free Assembly" in the "Museum / Prague City Gallery" in the associated cinema.
2017 FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE celebrates its German premiere at the Cinenova Kino, Cologne. Theatrical release on the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8th. The film runs in many cities in Germany.
2016 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN is shown as part of the exhibition "Drawings and Prints 1968 - 2016" in the "Museum Folkwang, Essen".
2016 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN is shown as part of the exhibition "On the Other Side" in the "Langen Foundation, Neuss".
2016 VOICES OF VIOLENCE - DR KONGO celebrates its German premiere in the Filmforum NRW of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Release date: March 10. The film on violence against women in the DR Congo is the first part of a trilogy.
2014 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN Screenings at "Tate Britain, London" as part of the large Richard Deacon exhibition. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/richard-deacon
2013 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN screenings at various festivals (REAL ARTIST FILM FESTIVAL, TORONTO), many cinemas in Germany and in many well-known museums and galleries (K20 / 21 in Düsseldorf, Ropac Gallery Salzburg, Galerie Schulte Berlin, sculptures park Wuppertal, museum Folkwang Essen). Also in special film series like the "Painting Movies" in the Cologne Film Palette. Invitation from the Goethe Institute in Toronto for a one-hour talk about the film RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN.
2013 RICHARD DEACON - IN BETWEEN celebrates its world premiere as part of the VIP program of the Cologne art market in the Filmforum NRW of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Germany premiere as part of the Gallery Weekend Berlin at the Babylon Kino, Berlin.
2010/11 ATTEMPS OF LOVE, a documentary about Werner Schroeter, is part of the Schroeter retrospective at Les Cinemas at the Center Pompidou, Paris.
2010 THE DRAWN WORLD - THE ARTIST HEINZ EMIGHOLZ is shown in the Ingolstadt art association.
2009/10 THE SILENCE OF INNOCENCE - THE ARTIST GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN runs successfully at various international film festivals, in many cinemas in Germany and Austria and well-known museums and galleries. Selection of festivals: 24th International DOKFest Munich; Festival Temps d’Image Film Award for Films on Art, Lisbon; Helsinki International Film Festival "Love & Anarchy", Helsinki; International Film Festival of Fine Art in Szolnok, Hungary.
2003 ATTEMPS OF LOVE receives 1st prize at the Festival International du Film d’Art, Paris.