Jan Schütte

Jan Schütte is an internationally acclaimed educator and film director. His films have screened at international film festivals such as Venice, Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and many more.

For many years he was a professor at Harvard University and the Harvard Extension School.

In 2010, he was appointed President of the German Film and Television Academy Berlin and became the Dean of the American Film Institute in 2014. Since 2020 he is a distinguished professor of film directing and screenwriting at the Shanghai Theatre Academy College of Film.

His students have been extraordinarily successful. Damien Chazelle won the Academy Award for Best Director in 2017. Two of his students have won the Gold Medal for Best Student Film at the Cannes Film Festival. During his tenure as Dean, the AFI swept the Student Academy Awards in 2015 in the narrative category (Gold, Silver and Bronze Medal) and won the Gold Medal again in 2016.

At the core of Jan’s work as film maker and educator are the understanding of different cultures, diversity and collaboration beyond borders. Film is a unique art form, which can be the bridge between different languages, cultures and human beings.

In 2002, Jan was member of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival alongside Martin Scorsese, Abbas Kiarostami, Tilda Swinton and Judith Godrèche. In 2008, he presided the International Drama Jury of the Sundance Film Festival, and in 2012, the President of the Hanoi International Film Festival Jury.

He is a member of the German Film Academy, the European Film Academy and the German Academy of the Arts, which was founded in 1696.

Jan Schütte lives in Berlin with his wife, Christina Szápáry. He has three stepsons and a daughter.