- Shot his first Super-8 film when he was just 11.
- After directing and producing two short films in the early '90s, his feature-film debut, Die tödliche Maria (Deadly Maria), premiered at the Hof International Film Festival in 1993.
- Cofounded the film production company X Filme Creative Pool in 1994.
- In 2008, he and his wife Marie Steinmann established the non-profit organization One Fine Day, which advocates and supports art education and projects for youths in East Africa.
- 2011, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Feature Film: Nominee
- 2013, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Direction: Nominee
- 1999, Sundance Film Festival — Audience Award: World Cinema: Winner
- 2011, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Direction: Winner
- 2000, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Film not in the English Language: Nominee
- 1999, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Direction: Winner
- 2016, Emmy — Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music: Nominee
- 2007, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Direction: Nominee
- 2000, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Foreign Film: Winner
- 2018, Deutscher Fernsehpreis — Best Score: Winner
- 2018, Deutscher Fernsehpreis — Best Director: Nominee
- 2010, Bayerischer Filmpreis — Best Director: Winner
- 2013, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Score: Nominee
- 2013, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2007, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Feature Film: Winner
- 2013, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Feature Film: Nominee
- Marie Steinmann — Wife
- Anton — Son
- Franka Potente — Ex-significant Other
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