Axel Schneppat studied cinematography at the University of Film and Television “Konrad Wolf” Potsdam-Babelsberg and has since 1995 been engaged in producing documentaries and feature films which are regularly screened and awarded at major international film festivals.
For his work as DoP in Havanna mi Amor, a feature length documentary film directed by Uli Gaulke, Axel Schneppat received the German Camera Award in 2000. Other award-winning films are the documentary Forgetting Dad by directors Rick Minnich and Matt Sweetwood, which received the Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2008. Eyes Wide Open (director: Haim Tabakman), won the Grand Prize for Best Film at the Ghent International Film Festival 2009. Schultze gets the Blues (director: Michael Schorr), was awarded the Directors Prize at the Venice International Film Festival in 2003, won numerous prizes at the Stockholm International Film Festival and was released by Paramount Pictures in theaters around the world. Schneppat was entrusted with the camera work for Jan Zabeil's latest feature film Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks), which had its world premiere at the 2017 edition of Locarno Film Festival. Following its German Premiere, the film received the German Cinema New Talent Award at Hof International Film Festival 2017.
Axel Schneppat is known for his unique talent for connecting with the people he films and is widely regarded as a cinematographer who achieves intimate portrayals of the protagonists without employing intrusive camerawork.
The Cleaners, 2017/18
Directed by Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck
DoP: Axel Schneppat, Max Preiss
Directed by Natalija Yefimkina
Directed by Uli Gaulke
Directed by Corinna Belz
Directed by Lutz Gregor
360° GEO Reportage - Das erste Frauenorchester von Sansibar, 2015
Directed by Lutz Gregor
Directed by Arpad Bondy
diverse directors, Zero One Film
Kuba - Auf zu neuen Ufern, 2016
Directed by Hasko Baumann
Directed by Jan Zabeil
Directed by Goran Radovanovic
Aaron (Alexander Fehling) invites his girlfriend Lea (Bérénice Bejo) and her 8-year-old son Tristan on a trip to the mountains. What could be a starting point of a new life together, slowly turns into difficult territory as the three fight for their positions within the new family. High up in the Three Peaks region in the Italian Dolomites, Aaron and Tristan are faced with their ambivalent love and deepest fears of one another, while Lea stands in between the two, trying to navigate this triangle. In his attempt to win the boy’s respect, Aaron takes him up the mountain and confronts Tristan with his continuous aggression towards him. When fog sets in and Aaron loses the boy, their power games reach a dangerous level…
The German-Italian co-production Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks), directed by Jan Zabeil was premiered in August 2017 in Locarno, where it was awarded with the Variety Piazza Grande Award, selected by the film magazine’s attending critics for the film that best combines artistic achievements with commercial potential. Following its German Premiere, the film received the German Cinema New Talent Award at Hof International Film Festival 2017.
Variety writes on the cinematography of this "tense, gripping, expertly made three-hander that tests conflicting ideas of fatherhood in the crucible of a mountainside vacation": "Axel Schneppat's stunning cinematography equally serves the forbiddingly fanglike mountains and the micro-expressions that flit across the actors’ face."
„a powerful and beautifully shot film of love and survival“ (cine-vue.com)
North American Premiere: Toronto International Film Festival 2017
German Premiere: Hof International Film Festival 2017 (Opening Film)
Theatrical Release Germany: February 1, 2018
Together with the stars of Malian Global Pop – Fatoumata Diawara and Bassekou Kouyaté, Mali Blues, the latest documentary by Lutz Gregor embarks on a musical journey to Mali’s agitated heart. The film is a musical road movie trough the country's music culture, it's threat of Sharia and the musicians' fight for peace.
The year is 1975. Cyrilson, 55, retires, shuts down his transportation company, fires the old drivers and his vibrant, young secretary and goes home.
At home there’s Eva, 50, his wife, a holocaust survivor, beautiful and gentle on the outside, but strong-willed and brave on the inside. The two of them have a daughter, Yehudit, 24, who has left home to study medicine - leaving Eva to be Cyrilson’s entire life, and Cyrilson to be Eva’s entire life.
Cyrilson finds it hard to get used to the empty stretches of spare time at home, while Eva continues to head out for work. He spends his days doing errands he’s been putting off for years. While cleaning up the messy shed, Cyrilson finds a letter from the bank and discovers he owns a property he knew nothing of.
Cyrilson goes to see the property he never knew he owned and discovers that the small apartment in the slums of Amidar has a tenant: Meni, 55, a holocaust survivor who was not able to assimilate into Israeli society and spends his days fixing old washing machines. Gradually, Cyrilson discovers that Meni is Eva’s long lost husband, back from the horrors of the holocaust, and that he and Eva have been having a secret relationship for the past 25 years, practically since the day Cyrilson and Eva were married. Cyrilson now has to question everything in life: Eva, Meni, his daughter and himself…