Movie director, producer, scenarist. He was born on the 25th of August 1973 in Hamburg, Germany. His family originally comes from Trabzon’s district, Sürmene. Starting from young ages he started to be interested in cinema. He graduated from Hamburg Academy of Fine Arts Department of Visual Communication (2000). In his university years, he started to work with Wüste Film Company. He started his career as an actor with the character “Erdal” in the television series called Doppelter Einsatz which lasted for three years.
He shot in 1995 his first short movie “You're the one! / Du bist es! / O Sensin”. The movie was deemed worthy of Public Prize in Hamburg International Short-Length Film Festival. The next year he directed his second short movie Getürkt. In 1998, he shot his first full-length movie Kurz und Schmerzlos / Short Sharp Shock / Kısa ve Acısız. Later he started to be mentioned among the best directors with the movies he directed. His movie Duvara Karşı (Head-On) whose leading roles were played by Meltem Cumbul, Güven Kıraç, Sibel Kekilli and Birol Ünel attracted a wide attention. He received the prize of Golden Bear in best movie branch in Berlin Festival, which is regarded as one of the most famous cinema festivals in Germany and in the world. The actors Birol Ünel and Sibel Kekilli were also granted Golden Bear awards in best actor and best actress branches. It was chosen as the best movie of the year by Newsweek and Time Out New York, which is one of the most popular magazines of United States. Time Out New York’s cinema critic David Fear defined the movie as 'Pure Perfection’.
Akın, who became known in artistic environments of Europe at young ages, carried the spiritual traces of social structures he came from to his movies. In his narrations, one can find ethnic minorities who are regarded as “others”, families under an intensive communication pressure and people who are depressed between various identity tensions. He defined Istanbul as “the city I am in love with” and screened it in his documentary Crossing The Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul (2005) with the contrasts and colorfulness in a musical way. He took the audience to a different Istanbul trip, accompanied by musicians with very different styles such as Orhan Gencebay, Mercan Dede, Sezen Aksu and Duman. Akın wrote in the same year the scenario of the movie Kebab Connection directed by Anno Saul and played the character “Lokman” in the movie “Hırsız Var” whose leading roles were played by Haluk Bilginer, Mehmet Ali Erbil and Birol Ünel.
In the project Visions of Europe in which 25 countries of Europe were presented with 25 different short movies Fatih Akın was elected to shoot the movie of Germany. Each director was asked to produce a movie, which transmitted their worldview in their country. The conditions were that the movies passed today or in a near future, had the length of 5 minutes and each one was produced with the same amount of budget. Fatih Akın became quite successful with the short movie he shot for this project.
Akın was part of the jury together with Salma Hayek, Javier Bardem and Emir Kusturica in 2005 Cannes Film Festival. His movie Yaşamın Kıyısında was granted Best Scenario Award in Cannes Film Festival (2007).
SHORT MOVIES: Du bist es! / Sensin! (director-scenarist, 1995), Getürkt (director-scenarist, 1996), Der Name Murat Kurnaz (director-scenarist, 2009).
FULL-LENGTH: Kurz und Schmerzlos / Kısa ve Acısız (director-scenarist, 1998), Black Souls / Kısmet (leading role, 1999), Im Juli / Temmuz’da (director-scenarist, 2000), Solino (director, 2002), Duvara Karşı (director, 2004), Gegen die Wand (director-scenarist - producer, 2004), Europäische Visionen (“Die alten bösen Lieder” part; director-scenarist - producer, 2004), Kebab Connection (scenarist, 2005), Gottesfurcht / Takva (producer, 2006), Auf der anderen Seite / Yaşamın Kıyısında (director-scenarist - producer, 2007), Chiko (producer, 2007), Soul Kitchen (director-scenarist - producer, 2009), Min dît (producer, 2009), New York I Love You (director-scenarist, 2009).
DOCUMENTARY: Wir Haben Vergessen Zurückzukehren (director-scenarist, 2001), Crossing The Bridge / The Sound of Istanbul (director-scenarist –producer, 2005).
MUSIC CLIP: Digger Dance: Digger is a dancer (2002), Aynur Doğan: Rewend (2010).