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Jan Schütte was born in 1957. He studied Literature, Philosophy and Art History.
Whilst working in television he also shot a series of short documentaries. His feature film debut, Drachenfutter (Dragon Chow), had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1987.
His films have screened at many international festivals, such as Venice, Cannes, Locarno, San Sebastian and Toronto, winning numerous national and international awards.
In 1994 he began to teach directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
Jan Schütte taught at Dartmouth College as Visiting Professor in 2000 and 2008, and at Harvard University in Cambridge in 2005 and 2009.
In 2001, in conjunction with Peter Sehr, he founded the postgraduate programme Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, which he directed until 2010.
In 2010 Jan Schütte was appointed Director of the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (German Film and Television Academy Berlin). Under his leadership the DFFB developed numerous international and postgraduate programmes such as Serial Eyes and Upgrade.
In 2002 Jan Schütte was a member of the International Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. He headed the International Drama Jury of the Sundance Festival in 2008, and was President of the Jury at the Hanoi International Film Festival in 2012.
He is a member of Germany’s Academy of Arts, the German Film Academy and the European Film Academy.
In 2014 Jan Schütte became Dean of the Conservatory of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
Jan Schütte lives with his wife Christina Szápáry in Los Angeles and Berlin.