Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jens Schanze was born in Bonn in 1971. In 1987, he spent a year living in the USA. In 1990, he embarked on a degree in Forestry at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and, in 1992, began working in television as an assistant director. In 1994, Schanze spent a year in Bolivia working on a project for Conservation International before he began his studies at the University of Television and Film in Munich in 1995. Through the production company Mascha Film, which he co-founded with Judith Malek-Mahdavi in 2002, he has directed numerous prizewinning documentaries including WINTERKINDER (2005) and PLUG & PRAY (2010). In 2014, he became a Professor of Film and Video Design.