Franz Lustig

“Wichtig ist, dass die Geschichte die richtigen Bilder bekommt.”
“It’s important that the story gets the right images.”


7th October 1967
Franz Lustig is born in Freiburg at Breisgau as first of 4 sons of Siegfried and Dorothea Lustig. He got his first super-8 camera at the age of 11. Since then he wanted to be a cinematographer.

After years of exercising and work as a freelance camera assistant and editor for various production companies on all kind of projects and genres he was one of the first students at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 1991 and finished in 1995 with a master for cinematography.

Since 1994 Franz has been working as director of photography for commercials and music-videos with some of the leading directors all over the world, like Daniel Kleinmann, Ringan Ledwidge, Tarsem, Kasper Wedenthal, Martin Werner, Cadmo Quintero and Ralf Schmerberg.

Franz Lustig earned many awards for his advertising cinematography, among others for Nike Running against the bulls or VDW Best Camera Award for Rain of Flowers and won twice in a row the German Video Clip Award for Best Camera. In 1998 he won the “Förderpreis der Filmstiftung NRW” for camera and editing, a prize of the film foundation of Northrhine-Westphalia to foster young talent, for the documentary Hommage a Noir.

After some short films, his first feature Land of Plenty (directed by Wim Wenders) was shot in 16 days on 25P Mini-DV in 2003 mainly downtown L.A., premiered at the 2004 Venice Film Festival and was nominated for Best Camera at the German Film Awards.

He finished up his second feature film with Wim Wenders, Don’t come knocking in summer 2004, shot anamorphic cinemascope in Montana, Nevada and Utah, starring Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard (also writer) and Tim Roth. The work on this project was honored with the award for best European Cinematographer 2005.

In 2007 Palermo shooting was completed – the 3rd collaboration between Lustig and Wenders. Starring Campino and Giovanna Mezzogiorno as well as Dennis Hopper, work took place in Düsseldorf and Palermo. Shooting format was S-35 and S-16 (mainly handheld).

His documentary work, also an important path in his career, includes the film 2, or 3 things, I knew about him by Malte Ludin about life and death of Ludin’s Nazi-father and about the present difficulties of the whole family living with this past. The film was earning a lot of attention worldwide.

His latest documentary work is about a classical ballet school project in the townships of Capetown watching the kids and teachers, their lives, aims, dreams and problems. Dance for all was successfully screened on numerous festivals and had its cinematic release in 2008.

He was awarded with the prestigious international Mobius-award 2010 for best Cinematographer. Meanwhile he worked on commercials such as multi-award-winner The Guardian Three little pigs with Ringan Ledwidge and two Lexus amazing in motion campaigns directed by Daniel Kleinman and Sam Brown.
In 2012 he shot the teenage anti war movie How I live now in Wales directed by Kevin MacDonald, which premiered at Toronto Film Festival and will be released in fall 2013. The project was shot digital on ARRI ALEXA cameras and Canon C300 as well with some scenes on good old 35mm. Franz used old Cooke lenses and the Leica Summilux series.

Franz Lustig lives with his wife Elena, who is an established and succesfull editor, in Berlin and partly Los Angeles.

List of Awards