Dani Levy was born in Basel in 1957 and has lived in Berlin since 1980. He acted in theaters in Basel (1977-79) and Berlin (1980-83) before making his directorial debut with DU MICH AUCH (1986), for which he immediately won the Best Film Award at the Vevey Comedy Festival. He received further awards for his 1988 film ROBBYKALLEPAUL (Audience Award at the Max Ophüls Festival in 1989) and for 1991’s I WAS ON MARS (FIPRESCI Award for Best Film in San Sebastian). With his short film WITHOUT ME (1993) he won the Hypobank directing award at the Munich Film Festival. A year later, Dani Levy founded the production company X Filme Creative Pool together with Stefan Arndt, Wolfgang Becker and Tom Tykwer. SILENT NIGHT, the first film made under the X Filme umbrella, screened in the International Competition of the 1996 Berlin Film Festival.
In 1997, Levy directed the thriller MESCHUGGE, which premiered at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival and won the 1999 Bavarian Film Award and the Best Cinematography. In the same year, the director shot DAS GEHEIMNIS DER SICHERHEIT in Iceland and Munich, the first 360-degree film for the city of Wolfsburg. In spring 2001, Levy’s first video clip was made: The music track “Adriano – Letzte Warnung” for the band Brothers Keepers, an association of 14 Afro-German artists. The highly topical family drama VÄTER followed a year later. In the summer of 2004, Dani Levy returned to the theater for a short time: he directed the street play “Freie Sicht aufs Mittelmeer” for Theater Basel, which premiered in September 2004 and was successfully revived in the fall of 2005.
For his turbulent comedy GO FOR ZUCKER! Dani Levy was awarded numerous prizes, including the German Film Award 2005 in the categories “Best Screenplay”, “Best Director” and “Best Film”. In January 2007, Dani Levy’s controversial film MY FÜHRER” was released to great acclaim.
MY FÜHRER received the main award at the Festival for European Film Smiles in Mladá Boleslav near Prague. This is the second award for MY FÜHRER abroad after the Freedom of Expression Award at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival in July 07. Sylvester Groth received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2007 German Film Awards for his role in MEIN FÜHRER, and Ulrich Noethen was awarded the 2008 Best Actor Award by the Association of German Film Critics.
In November 2008, Dani Levy shot the short film JOSHUA for the compilation film DEUTSCHLAND 09, which premiered at the 2009 Berlinale.
The tragicomedy LIFE IS TOO LONG starring Markus Hering, was made in fall 2009 and released in August 2010.
In 2012, Dani Levy directed the Swiss Tatort SCHMUTZIGER DONNERSTAG, set in Lucerne during the carnival season, which aired on ARD on February 10, 2013. This was followed by the ARD comedy DER LIEBLING DES HIMMELS, which aired on ARD on Sept. 18, 2015, and the X-Filme production DIE WELT DER WUNDERLICHS, which was released in 2016 and was nominated for two German Film Awards.
In August 2018, TATORT: DIE MUSIK STIRBT ZULETZT was broadcast, the first Tatort production to be shot in a 90-minute one-shot.
In 2018, four VR short films were presented at the Berlin Jewish Museum that Levy shot in Jerusalem, the JERUSALEM STORIES: FAITH, LOVE, HOPE & FEAR. In 2019, he shot a short film as part of the episodic film BERLIN, I LOVE YOU with an ensemble of German and international directors and actors.
In 2020, the X-Filme production THE KANGAROO-CHRONICLES was released in German cinemas.