Rosa von Praunheim

Rosa von Praunheim

Actor, Director, Screenplay, Producer, Writer, Editor


Rosa von Praunheim is a prolific German director, writer, and actor who has been active in the film industry since the late 1960s. His films often feature LGBT themes, making him a pioneer in the queer cinema movement. He is known for his colorful and often controversial films, which tackle topics such as homosexuality, gender and identity, AIDS, and the Holocaust.

Von Praunheim was born Holger Radke in 1942 in Riga, Latvia. At the age of four, his family moved to Berlin, Germany, where he grew up. He studied painting and graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin before turning his attention to film.

In 1969, von Praunheim wrote and directed his first film, In the Year of the Pig. The film featured the first publicly out gay actor in German cinema, Peter Kern. This was followed by his second feature, It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives (1971), which addressed the stigmatization of homosexuality in Germany. This film gained international recognition and won numerous awards, including the German Film Prize.

Von Praunheim has since gone on to direct over 60 feature and documentary films. His films have screened in film festivals worldwide and garnered numerous awards. He has been the recipient of the Berlinale Camera award, the Teddy Award, and the Bundesfilmpreis (German Film Award).

Von Praunheim has also written numerous books on LGBT topics and has been an advocate for LGBT rights in Germany. In 2003, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his accomplishments.

Von Praunheim continues to make films that explore the lives and experiences of LGBT people. His most recent projects include the documentaries Rosa’s Garden (2006) and That’s My Boy (2008). His films have been shown in theaters, on television, and on the internet, and his work has been influential in increasing public awareness of LGBT issues.


Nov. 25, 1942