Photo © Jörg Foth
Jörg Foth was born in Berlin in 1949. He studied directing at the Academy for Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg from 1972 to 1977. After working as an assistant director at the DEFA Studio for Feature Films and GDR television, he made his directorial debut with Das Eismeer ruft.
Employed as a director-in-training at DEFA as of 1984, he also worked on two co-productions: as assistant director to Bernhard Wicki on Die Grünstein-Variante (FRG/GDR) and as co-director of Dschungelzeit (Vietnam/GDR). For the latter, he was commissioned to work with veteran Vietnamese filmmaker Tran Vu on a project that he cynically remembers as an opportunity for both sides to travel, which was made difficult by a series cultural misunderstandings. Filming finally started in 1987 and the project was finished in 1988. Foth had to wait years until he was allowed to direct his next feature film, Biologie!—the only DEFA feature ever to deal with environmental issues. He was finally promoted to full director in spring 1990, a few months before the studio was closed.
Starting in the early 1980s, Foth lobbied for a role for the youngest generation of DEFA filmmakers in studio structures. Mentored by director Ulrich Weiβ (Miraculi), Foth himself later became the mentor of director Peter Welz (Banale Tage, Burning Life) and was integral to the creation of the Young Filmmakers Group at DEFA. He had to wait years until he was allowed to direct his next feature film, Biologie!—the only DEFA feature ever to deal with environmental issues. He was finally promoted to full director in spring 1990, a few months before the DEFA studio was closed, and made his musical cabaret revue Letztes aus der DaDaeR.
Since 1991, Foth has worked in television and film, as well as theater. Among his other films is Prenzlauer Berg Walzer, shot by Thomas Plenert; it is a documentary about people living in the center of Berlin, using film material shot between November 9, 1989—the night the Wall fell—and 1992. Foth lives in Berlin. His papers are housed in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Bibliography & More:
Evan Torner and Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, “Imposed Dialogues: Joerg Foth and Tran Vu’s GDR-Vietnamese Coproduction, Dschungelzeit (1988),” in Comrades of Color: East Germany in the Cold War World, ed. Quinn Slobodian (New York: Berghahn Books, 2015): 243-264.
|1994||Tir na nOg (doc.)|
|1994||Prenzlauer Berg Walzer (Prenzlauer Berg Walz, TV, doc.)|
|1991||Happy End Durch Drei (Happy End Divided by Three, TV)|
|1990||Letztes aus der DaDaeR (Latest from the Da-Da-R)|
|1989||Ach du jeh – Ein Hans Dampf und Wurst Dokument (Oh Dear! A Jack-of-All-Trades Document)|
|1989||Tuba wa duo (short)|
|1987||Dschungelzeit (Time in the Jungle, GDR/Vietnam)|
|1983||Das Eismeer ruft (The Arctic Sea Calls)|
|1979||Addio, piccolo mia (actor)|