Jannis Lenz studied Directing in the Masters Programme of Jessica Hausner at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where he also worked as an assistant for Michael Haneke.


Grown up in Germany, he collected his first camera and directing experiences by filming his friends  and himself practising Le Parkour.

His video installations, which explore dance and performing bodies in public spaces are presented in museums and exhibitions worldwide.

Lenz´ films are regularly shown at International Film Festivals like IFF Rotterdam, FNC Montreal, Sarajevo IFF, Palm Springs ISFF and won numerous awards and prizes. His Bachelor-Degree Film WANNABE won the Prix Clermont-Ferrand and got nominated for the European Film Awards.


The borderline between fictional and documentary storytelling is something that Lenz explores in many different ways,  often in collaboration with non-professional actors, addressing questions regarding identity, role models, and belonging in a globalized society. He has been invited several times to speak about his way of working as a filmmaker and to give workshops at schools, universities and film festivals.


His  Master-Graduation Film and  first Feature Documentary SOLDAT AHMET premiered at Visions du Réel, won many awards, e.g. the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award or the Award of the Austrian Film Institute for Best Umcoming Director and had a theatrical release in cinemas in 2022.


Currently Jannis is developing his first narrative Feature Film FREAKS as part of the Talent Film Program of Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film in Germany.




2022 Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award (US)

2022 Award of the Austrian Film Institute for Best Upcoming Director (AT)

2022 Talent Film Program / Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film (DE)

2021 First Steps Award / Nomination,  Berlin (DE)

2021 Berlinale Talents Alumni (DE)

2017 Award of the Society of Fine Artists Austria - Künstlerhaus Wien (AT)

2017 Membership of the European Film Academy

2017 European Film Awards / Nomination (FR)
2017 Performance Grant - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (AT)
2016 START Scholarship of the Bundeskanzleramt Austria for Cinematic Art (AT)

2016 FIPA Talent Campus Alumni (FR)

2016 Guest Student for Acting & Theatre Directing - Max Reinhardt Seminar (AT)

2016 Bachelor Degree with Distinction in Directing at Filmacademy Vienna (AT)

2016 Bachelor Degree with Distinction in Editing at Filmacademy Vienna (AT)


Contact: lenzfilm@gmail.com