(Clockwise from left) Matt Sweetwood, Rick Minnich, and Ari Benjamin Meyers at Babylon Mitte for the Achtung Berlin Film Festival, April 2009; Rick accepting the Special Jury Award for Forgetting Dad at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA, December 2008; Axel Schneppat filming a driving scene for Homemade Hillbilly Jam; Raimund von Scheibner and Mike Williamson on the set of Homemade Hillbilly Jam.

Rick Minnich, Filmmaker

An American independent filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany, Rick Minnich began his film career in the early 1990s, documenting on celluloid the sweeping changes in Berlin and Eastern Europe following the end of the Cold War while musing about the American homeland he left behind. Some critics refer to Rick’s films as “an insider’s view from the outside.” His expatriate experiences unquestionably afford Rick a unique and insightful outlook on the American way rarely found in the work of other filmmakers.

Beginning with his first feature documentary GOOD GUYS & BAD GUYS (about growing up in a Los Angeles suburb during the last years of the Cold War), and continuing through his wry, ironic exploration of American patriotism and religious fervor (HEAVEN ON EARTH), his experiences getting lost in hillbilly culture (HOMEMADE HILLBILLY JAM), and his investigation into the whimsical nature of human memory (FORGETTING DAD), Rick has steadily produced an oeuvre of films which merges the best of the European auteur tradition with the rhythms and quirkiness of American independent filmmaking. His films are deeply subjective and personal, passionate takes on life, vibrant with humor, candor, warmth, thoughtfulness and perplexity. They evoke smiles and laughter while also inviting viewers to peek into their own gray areas. Rather than offering simple answers, Rick’s films pose poignant questions which continue to engage viewers long after they leave the cinema.

Whereas staged sensationalism and dogmatic social issue filmmaking are all the rage today, Rick continues to blaze his own trail, steadfastly exploring the common human joys and predicaments that drive us with a more muted, subtler, but no less compelling touch. His latest film, the gut-wrenching documentary thriller FORGETTING DAD, is an excellent example of Rick’s explosive storytelling talent. “Minnich’s crackerjack detective story features a killer twist," writes Paul Sturtz, co-director of the True/False Film Festival. “By extension, it also serves as a clever allegory about the United States of Amnesia, wherein wind-blown men can remake themselves in an instant.”

FORGETTING DAD is the summation of all the themes swirling around in Rick’s films so far, and crystallizes his heartfelt concern for the human condition. It also provides a revealing glimpse at the talents lurking within Rick as he plunges forward into the next phase of his filmmaking career. “I’m in this for the long haul,” says Minnich, “I’m not interested in the latest trends. I want to make universal films that move viewers all around the world, and which stand the test of time.”

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
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Bio Text (pdf) EN | DE |

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