Journey into Film

Because of a scholarship-offer, Schlöndorff commences studies in social and political sciences at the »Sorbonne«, which he continues until reaching a first university degree.

During this time, he already visits the »Cinémathèque française« on a daily basis, meeting the directors of the »Novelle Vague«, the French “new wave” of filmmaking.

He also meets Louis Malle, with whom he will collaborate in the years to come.

In 1960, Schlöndorff directs his first short-film, using the pseudonym „Volker Loki“. Wen kümmert's („Who cares“) deals with Algerians in Frankfurt, but the film is denied a rating, because the agency responsible is put off by the film’s criticism of Germany’s new ally, France. Schlöndorff’s friends Ashur Si Bekai and Abdel Si Bekai also work on the production.

During his time in France, Schlöndorff works as an assistant director with many great filmmakers. He works on Louis Malle’s Zazie dans le Metro (1960) and Viva Maria (1960) with Brigitte Bardot. He is an assistant director on Alain Resnais‘ Last Year in Marienbad (1961) with Delphine Seyrig and on Jean-Pierre Melvilles’s Léon Morin, Priest (1961).