photo ©Silvia Zeitlinger
Peter Zeitlinger ASC Biography by:©Cécile Mella
Peter Zeitlinger ASC is an Austrian cinematographer with an illustrious career in film and TV features. He has shot 13 films with legendary director Werner Herzog, including ‘Grizzly Man’, ‘Encounters at the End of the World’, ‘The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans’, ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ and ‘Into the Abyss’, which won the British Film Institute’s Best Documentary in 2011. Most recently, he was Director of Photography on Herzog’s ‘Queen of the Desert’. He has shot six features with Gotz Spielmann and three with Ulrich Seidl. He has won five Best Cinematography accolades, including two Romy TV awards and one German Cinematography Award, and ‘Encounters at the End of the World’ was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2009. He is currently working on a new film with Werner Herzog, which will involve volcanoes.
events sorted by years:
1960 born on an Island of the river Vltava in Prague, Czechoslovakia
1966-1968 Elementary School in Prague in Czech language
1968 Russian Invasion forced Peter Zeitlinger to leave the country with his mother for the independent Austria
1970-1972 Elementary School in Linz, Upper Austria in German
1972 – 1980 High shool
1980 – 1984 Study of Esthetics, Ethics and Art management in Vienna
1980-1987 Study of Cinematography and Editing at the film Academy in Vienna
in that time Peter Zeitlinger won several Student Film Awards
1985 summer academy in L´Aquilla, Italy where PZ meets John Bailey, Vittorio Storaro, Sven Nykvist and Vilmos Zsigmond as artistic inspirers.
1986 PZ works as a gaffer with David Watkin BSC in Vienna where he learns to understand the work with bounce light and heavy equipment.
1989 PZ cowrote and photographed as a cinematographer the feature film “Tunnelchild” which dealt with topics from his childhood at the border between two major political systems. At the Berlin Filmfestival 1990 right after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the film “Tunnelchild” won the second Price for the best Children movie
Since then PZ workes as a Cinematographer and editor on several feature films and feature length documentaries which have been awarded in international A- Festivals (Cannes, Venice, San Sebastian, Telluride, Berlin, etc.
1995 Werner Herzog discovered PZ for his work and since then he has never worked with an other cinematographer. In the same year Peter marries the Austrian actress Silvia Vas
The family moves to the Island Losinj in the Ardiatic Sea where he cowrites several Screenplays
2001 PZ directs the feature film HUSBAND KILLERS (codirected by Holger Gotha and Silvia Vas) It is nominated for the “Best First Time Director” in Baden Baden 2002
2004 – 2010 PZ lectures at the Mozart University in Salzburg on Film and Visual Esthetics
2005 PZ works on the first US production as a cinematographer – RESCUE DAWN with Christian Bale and Steve Zahn, directed by WH
The “American Cinematographer” and “The New Yorker” write articles about PZ and WHs work. In the same year they shoot GRIZZLY MAN in Alaska which allows Werner Herzog to join the Directors Guild of America
2007 “Romy (TV Award)” for Best Cinematography DREMHOTEL AFRICA
2007 the National Science Foundation invites PZ and WH to the Antarctic Program as Artist and Writer. This collaboration yields ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD which was nominated for the Non Fiction Academy Award 2009
2009 “Cinema Eye Honors” for Best Cinematography for ENCOUNTERS
2009 second US feature film BAD LIEUTENANT Port of Call New Orleans
was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography 2010
2010 PZ is asked by two Universities to become a Professor of Cinematography – University of Art in Vienna, where he had studied himself and the University for Film and Television in Munich, Germany. PZ accepts 2011 to work along with Prof. Michael Ballhaus ASC in Munich.
2011 PZ shoots a 3D film, the highest-grossing independently released documentary of 2011 – CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS
2012 “German Cinematography Award” for Best Cinematography for AT NIGHTFALL
the Cinematography magazine “Der Kameramann” published PZs thoughts about the “Death of the Monage” which propagates the One Shot Esthetics.
2013 “Romy (TV Award)” for Best Cinematography AT NIGHTFALL
PZ is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, German Film Academy and since 25 years BVK (German Society of Cinematographers) member. He lives with his family in Venice, Italy.
Peter Zeitlinger speaks 5 languages. His work has carried him around the world in all continents and almost all countries.