Frank Beyer

Active - 1957 - 1995  |   Born - Mar 26, 1932   |   Died - Oct 1, 2006   |   Genres - Drama

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Frank Beyer directed the only film from DEFA (East Germany's only studio) to receive an Oscar nomination, Jakob der Lügner/Jacob the Liar (1974; released in U.S. in 1976). It represented a brief comeback for Beyer whose work had fallen into disfavor after he made Spur der Steine/Traces of the Stone in 1966. This latter work was shown for one week in East Germany and then suppressed until 1989, when it was released in both East and West Germany and was favorably received by audiences and critics alike. Beyer started out writing plays for various provincial theaters. In the mid-'50s, he enrolled at Prague's prestigious FAMU and while there worked as an assistant director to Hans Müller, Kurt Jung-Alsen, and Kurt Maetzig. Following graduation in 1957, Beyer returned to Germany to work for DEFA's studio in Potsdam-Babelsberg. He remained there, working as a director, through 1966. At the studio, Beyer had his first hit with the war drama Fünf Patronenhülsen/Five Bullets (1960). His subsequent dramas, Königskinder/Invincible Love (1962) and Nackt unter Wölfen/Naked Among Wolves, were also quite successful. In the late '60s, when Beyer's film career had stalled out, he produced plays at Dresden's State Theater and directed television productions. In 1991, Beyer received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the German Film Awards.

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