Jantje Friese is a German film producer and screenwriter who earned critical acclaim for creating the Netflix series Dark. She previously produced such films as Toni Erdmann and 13 Minutes, which were nominated for awards at the Berlinale Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and European Film Awards, respectively. In 2008, Jantje was named one of Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch. How did she get to where she is today? Let’s explore the life of this German film producer and screenwriter! Jantje Friese – From Germany to Hollywood

Growing Up

Born in Düsseldorf, Jantje lived in a small town outside of Frankfurt for most of her life. She went to the University of Munich, studying film and drama. She then moved to the US where she met Michael Sugar, who offered her a job as an associate producer on Spotlight. Shortly after that they co-founded Anonymous Content together. Jantje Friese – From Germany to Hollywood

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College Years

She was a film studies major at the University of Hamburg and went on to work in the industry. After graduating, she began her career as a freelance editor before working for various production companies in Berlin and Hamburg.

In 2009, she wrote her first screenplay with her partner Baran bo Odar, which became Dark. In 2014, Netflix picked up the series for its first original German language show. The show has since been renewed for a second season that is set to air this year.

First Films

Friese’s first film was the German-language movie Der Junge im gestreiften Pyjama (The Boy in Striped Pajamas), which she co-produced. The film, based on the novel of the same name, recounts the story of a nine-year-old boy who is separated from his family and sent with his six-year-old sister to live in a concentration camp. Released in 2008, it won critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award.

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Life After Film School

After graduating from Film School in Berlin, Jantje knew it was time for a change. The German film industry had become increasingly more crowded and competitive, so she moved to Los Angeles with the idea of one day making movies in the U.S. When she arrived, she took on several odd jobs like bartending and working as a production assistant until she got her first break as a script supervisor on the TV show Arrested Development.

Future Projects

Friese will continue her work in the horror genre with a new film, The Dominoes Fall. And she is currently working on an English language remake of her award-winning German short film Drei.


What is your favorite thing about being a producer?

I love that it gives me the opportunity to work with so many different people. I’m constantly learning from all of the creatives I work with, and this is what I find most fascinating about my job. It’s also great when you see something you helped create on screen for the first time and it does what you had hoped it would do.

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What are some challenges that come with being a producer?

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