Hans-Christian Schmid has emerged as one of the most fascinating filmmakers in contemporary German cinema. His films often focus on characters who move from small towns to big cities and the difficult period of transition from adolescence to adulthood, yet he avoids the more lurid traits of other youth-oriented films by presenting a refreshingly honest take on these moments of development. A graduate of the Academy of Television & Film in Munich, Schmid initially worked as documentary filmmaker before making the transition to fiction features. His breakthrough came in 1995 with his feature debut, It's A Jungle Out There, his first writing collaboration with Michael Gutmann. He has received multiple accolades from the German Film Awards and film festivals in Berlin (where he has been honored twice with FIPRESCI awards), Munich, Locarno, Chicago and Seattle. His previous films include 23, Crazy, Distant Lights and Requiem.