Axel Schneppat


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 served as DOP 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. 2021 saw see the release of the international coproduction and historical drama Tel Aviv-Beirut by director Michale Boganim who entrusted Axel Schneppat with the camera work. In 2022, he served as camera operator on Fatih Akin's feature film Rheingold.

His latest documentary films include The Cleaners (dir. Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck), which was premiered in Sundance 2018 as well as Natalija Yefimkina's debut documentary feature Garage People, which had its world premiere at Berlinale 2020, was awarded the Werner Herzog Film Award 2020 and received a nomination for the German Documentary Award 2020. For his work as DoP for Garage People, Axel Schneppat was nominated for the German Camera Award 2021.

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. 



Century of Women, 2019/20
Directed by Uli Gaulke

Garagenvolk (Garage People), 2019
Directed by Natalija Yefimkina
World Premiere: Berlinale 2020
Werner Herzog Film Award 2020
Nomination German Documentary Award 2020
Nomination German Camera Award 2021

The Cleaners, 2017/18
Directed by Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck
DoP: Axel Schneppat, Max Preiss
World Premiere: Sundance 2018

The Show must go on, 2016
Directed by Uli Gaulke

Peter Handke - Bin im Wald. Kann sein, dass ich mich verspäte, 2015/16
Directed by Corinna Belz

Mali Blues, 2014
Directed by Lutz Gregor

Gardenia- Before the Last Curtain Falls, 2013
Directed by Thomas Wallner

As Time Goes By in Shanghai, 2012
Directed by Uli Gauke
Der letzte Fang, 2012
Directed by Markus Schmidt
11 Freundinnen, 2012
Directed by Sung-Hyung Cho
Wochenendkrieger (Sunday Warriors), 2012
Directed by Andreas Geiger
Children of the Revolution, 2010
Directed by Shane O’Sullivan
Pink Taxi, 2009
Directed by Uli Gaulke
Home from Home, 2009
Directed by Sung-Hyung Cho

The Lawyers - A German Story, 2007
Directed by Birgit Schulz
Forgetting Dad, 2006
Directed by Rick Minnich, Matt Sweetwood
Comrades in Dreams, 2005
Directed by Uli Gaulke
Raum 4070, 2006
Directed by Jana Kalms, Thorsten Striegnitz
Homemade Hillbilly Jam, 2003
Directed by Rick Minnich
Heirate mich- Casate conmigo, 2003
Directed by Uli Gaulke
Henker- Der Tod hat ein Gesicht, 2001
Directed by Jens Becker
Havanna mi amor, 2000
Directed by Uli Gaulke
An einem Mittwoch in Weimar, 1999
Directed by Heiner Sylvester
Good Guys and Bad Guys, 1996
Directed by Rick Minich

Dem Deutschen Volke, 1995
Directed by Gebrüder Hissen Eastwest
Documentary short

Quién es el último, 1998
Directed by Uli Gaulke
The Book of Lenins, 1996
Directed by Rick Minnich



The Eye of Africa. The Film Pioneer Hans Schomburgk, 2019
Directed by Anna Schmidt

1929 - Das Jahr Babylon
, 2018
Directed by Volker Heise

24h Europe - We are the Future, 2018
Directed by Britt Beyer, Vassili Silovic

360° GEO Reportage - Das erste Frauenorchester von Sansibar, 2015
Directed by Lutz Gregor

Die Spur der Troika, 2014
Directed by Arpad Bondy

24 h Jerusalem, 2013
diverse directors, Zero One Film

Als Rostock-Lichtenhagen brannte, 2012
Directed by Florian Huber
Die Akte Kleist, 2011
Directed by Thorsten Striegnitz
Sitz! Hundetraining im Frauenknast, 2011
Directed by Anne Thoma

Landschaftsgeschichten, 2008
Directed by Marcus Welsch
24 Hours Berlin, 2009
Directed by Mechthild Gassner
Auf Rosamunde Pilchers Spuren - Eine Reise durch Schottland, 2008
Directed by Steffen Schneider
Georg, 2007
Directed by Caterina Klusemann
Straße Nummer Eins, 2006
Directed by Oliver Päßler
Schachmatt, 2003
Directed by Susanne Brandstätter
Hinter den Bergen, 2003
Directed by Heinz Brinkmann
Berlin Vortex, 2003
Directed by Marco Wilms
Ferner liefen, 2002
Directed by Michael Schorr 
Das Kakerlakenrennen, 2002
Directed by Jochen Kraußer
Der kleine Treibhauseffekt, 2001
Directed by Heiner Sylvester
Liebe und Energie, 1999
Directed by Simone Bergmann
Renaissance der Bahnhöfe, 1999
Directed by Heiner Sylvester
Documentary series

Kuba - Auf zu neuen Ufern, 2016
Directed by Hasko Baumann

Gas Station Happiness, 2015/16
diverse directors
Die Spurensucher, 2008
Directed by Kerstin Hoppenhaus
Die letzte Reise, 2006
Directed by Mechthild Gassner
Abenteuer 1927 - Sommerfrische, 2005
Directed by Jutta Doberstein
Abenteuer 1900, Leben im Gutshaus, 2004
Directed by Volker Heise


Weil ich länger lebe als du - Kinder kämpfen um ihre Welt, 2010
Directed by Henriette Bornkamp, C. Fechner

Ein Krankenhaus für den König der Lüfte, 2002
Directed by Steffen Schneider

Camera for amongst others

Mare TV, 360° GEO Reportage, Länder Menschen Abenteuer, Matusseks Reisen

Feature Film

Rheingold, 2022
Directed by Fatih Akin
Camera operator

Tel Aviv-Beirut, 2021
Directed by Michale Boganim

Three Peaks / Drei Zinnen, 2016/17
Directed by Jan Zabeil

Ewa, 2015
Directed by Haim Tabakman

Enclave, 2013
Directed by Goran Radovanovic

Eyes Wide Open, 2009
Directed by Haim Tabakman
Estrellita, 2007
Directed by Metod Pevec
Schultze Gets the Blues, 2003
Directed by Michael Schorr

Short film

Schönen Tag, Marie, 2008
Directed by Marcus Welsch
Im Fahrstuhl, 2007
Directed by Ralf Sakulowski
Leben 1,2,3, 2000
Directed by Michael Schorr




Director: Michale Boganim
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat

1984. With war raging in Lebanon, young Israeli soldier Yossi is separated from his wife Myriam shortly after she gives birth to their son. In Lebanon, Yossi discovers the harsh reality and brutality of war alongside Fouad, a fighter with the South Lebanon Army, a militia backed by Israel in order to counter the advance of Hezbollah. The war scatters the families of the two soldiers on either side of the border, and continues to pursue them into the early 2000s, when the conflict flares up again, threatening the lives of their children

© Konrad Waldmann



Director: Natalija Yefimkina
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat

Filmmaker Natalija Yefimkina’s directorial debut is dedicated to the Russian man’s refuge, the garage, in the inhospitable area of Northern Russia on the Kola Peninsula.

With humorous, unpredictable and bizarre scenes, GARAGE PEOPLE tells the story of Russian men and the celebration of their private independence as they embellish their garages at their own discretion into parallel worlds. We hear tales – both tragic and lighthearted – that allow us to gaze into the deep souls of Russian men who scarcely speak for themselves – or with each other, sharing their concerns, fears and joys. In this way, we gain an insight into an everyday reality that takes place in secret.

World Premiere: Berlinale 2020 (section "Perspektive Deutsches Kino")
Werner Herzog Film Award 2020
Nomination German Documentary Award 2020
Nomination German Camera Award 2021 for Axel Schneppat



Director: Jan Zabeil
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat

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“ (

North American Premiere: Toronto International Film Festival 2017
German Premiere: Hof International Film Festival 2017 (Opening Film)
Theatrical Release Germany: February 1, 2018

© Konrad Waldmann



Director: Lutz Gregor
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat

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.



Director: Haim Tabakman
Director of Photography: Axel Schneppat

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…