Daniel Sponsel

Artistic and Managing Director

Born 1964 in Hamburg, studied photography at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg (HfbK) and directing documentary film at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München. He is the author, director and cameraman of numerous award-winning documentaries such as DER LETZTE DOKUMENTARFILM.

From 2002 to 2009 Daniel Sponsel was an artistic-scientific assistant in the Department of Documentary Film and Television Journalism at the HFF Munich. At the university he was active in teaching as well as in various university political committees such as the senate, university management and appointment procedures. As a lecturer, he continues to teach at various institutes and universities, including the ZHDK in Zurich, Zelig in Botzen, HFF Munich, Drehbuchwerkstatt Munich and the Lehrerakademie in Dillingen.

Daniel Sponsel publishes his own publication and texts in various anthologies. His most recent publications are DER DOKUMENTARFILM IST TOT, ES LEBE DER DOKUMENTARFILM (Schüren Verlag, 2014) and an article in the series kommunikation audiovisuell: EIN BILD IST EIN BILD, Heiner Stadler und seine Filme (Herbert von Halem Verlag, 2017).

Daniel Sponsel is networked throughout Germany and internationally in the documentary film industry. He is a member of numerous juries and is, among others, a member of "AG Dokumentarfilm" and "Freundeskreis der HFF München" and was part of various selection and funding committees.

Since 2009 he has been the director of the International Documentary Film Festival Munich. He expanded it to include the new series DOK.deutsch, DOK.guest, the Retrospective and DOK.education (film education for children, teenagers and adults). In 2011, Daniel Sponsel launched the industry platform DOK.forum, which combines a marketplace, perspectives and the promotion of young talent.
In 2019 he presented the most successful year to date with over 52,000 viewers, making DOK.fest Munich the largest documentary film festival in Germany and now playing in the league of the most important festivals for documentary film in Europe. DIE ZEIT wrote already in May 2016: "The Munich Documentary Film Festival stands for the public interest in this art form in an exploding way, so to speak".