Jan Zabeil

Jan Zabeil

Regie, Drehbuch, Kamera, Bauten, Schnitt, Ton, Produzent
*1981 Berlin


Jan Zabeil, born 1981 in Berlin, studied cinematography at the University of Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg from 2003 to 2009. While still a student, his short film "L.H.O." (2007, directed together with Kristof Kannegießer) received several awards, among them one from the Montréal World Film Festival. He then directed the short documentary "Was weiss der Tropfen davon" (2008) about the Reichstag building in Berlin and its foreign cleaners that also received prizes at numerous festivals. At that time, Zabeil also worked as cinematographer for a number of other short films directed by fellow students. After his graduation, he was cinematographer for the two documentaries "Achtung: Psychonauten – Der Künstler Thomas Zipp" (2010) and "Fastest" (US 2011) about professional motorcycle racers.

At the Filmfest München, Jan Zabeil presented his debut feature film as a director, "Der Fluss war einst ein Mensch" ("The River Used to Be a Man", 2011), which is a meditative, partly improvised and multi award-winning adventure film about a young German who gets lost in an African Savannah. In the following years, Jan Zabeil continued his work as a cinematographer for several documentary films, such as Andreas Geiger's "Wochenendkrieger" (DE/AT 2011-2013), Alice Agneskircher's "Ein Apartment in Berlin" (2013) and for the American production "Hitting the Apex" (2015), a kind of sequel to "Fastest" (2011). In 2014, he directed the short film "We will stay in touch about it" starring Alexander Fehling in the lead role with whom he had previously cast for "The River Used to Be a Man". At the Locarno Festival 2017, Jan Zabeil presented his second feature film as a director, "Drei Zinnen" ("Three Peaks", DE/IT). The dramatic story of a man (again Alexander Fehling), his new partner and her eight year old son received the Piazza Grande Award in Locarno. The film was released in German cinemas in December 2017.  


2016/2017 Drei Zinnen
Director, Screenplay
2015 Der letzte Patriarch
Director, Director of photography
2014 We will stay in touch about it
Director, Screenplay, Director of photography, Producer
2013 Ein Apartment in Berlin
Director of photography
2011-2013 Wochenendkrieger
2nd Camera unit
2011 Der Fluss war einst ein Mensch
Director, Screenplay, Story, Producer
2010 Magda
Director of photography
2009/2010 Aargh
Director of photography
2009 Elf Onkel
Director of photography
2008 Es gibt noch Berge da draussen
Director of photography
2008 Für die Dauer einer Welle
Director of photography, Editing, Sound
2007/2008 Was weiß der Tropfen davon
Director, Screenplay, Director of photography
2006/2007 L.H.O.
Director, Director of photography
2003/2004 Rain Is Falling
Construction manager