Philip Scheffner

Philip Scheffner

Director, Editor, Writer


Philip Scheffner is a German filmmaker and media artist, renowned for his unique blend of documentary and experimental film. His work focuses on topics such as migration, memory, and the politics of sound.

Born in Hildesheim in 1976, Scheffner studied philosophy and art history at the University of Hildesheim, before switching his focus to filmmaking at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. While there, his studies focused on documentary filmmaking, as well as video art and digital media.

Scheffner’s first feature-length documentary, The Halfmoon Files, was released in 2006. The film follows the story of a group of Indian immigrants in Germany, and their attempts to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of a fellow migrant. Through interviews and archival footage, the film paints a portrait of a group of people struggling to survive in a foreign land. The film won numerous awards, including the German Film Award for Best Documentary and the Special Jury Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

In 2012, Scheffner released his second feature-length documentary, Havarie. The film traces the journey of a boat carrying African migrants as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea, and the tragedy that ensues when their boat sinks. The film was praised for its unique approach to storytelling, and its powerful exploration of the global refugee crisis.

Scheffner’s latest work, Fade to White, was released in 2017. The film follows the story of a German family, and the secrets that lie beneath the surface of their seemingly perfect lives. Through interviews and archival footage, the film explores the memories of a past generation, and the lingering effects of the Nazi regime.

In addition to his filmmaking, Scheffner is also a media artist. His works have been exhibited in various galleries and museums throughout Europe, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In addition to his filmmaking and media art, Scheffner is also active in the world of education. He has taught at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, and has also given lectures and workshops at various universities in Europe.

Philip Scheffner is a truly innovative and versatile filmmaker and media artist. His work combines documentary and experimental elements in unique and powerful ways, and his commitment to exploring a wide range of topics is admirable. His films have won numerous awards, and his media art has been exhibited around the world.