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Anton Corbijn, who was born in the Netherlands and has lived in the U.K. for over 29 years, is globally known as an influential portrait photographer, having worked with painters, directors, actors, writers, and musicians over 35 years. He photographs mostly in black/white and his photography can be seen on over 100 record covers, in magazines and books as well as in galleries and museums. Over a dozen volumes of his photography have been published, with titles such as FAMOUZ, 33 Still Lives, WERK, and U2&i. He published a book of the making of his last film Control, In Control, and to coincide with the release of The American he will publish a book entitled Inside The American. This will consist of photos he took on- and off-set during the filming and preparations for the film in 2009. The publishing house is Schirmer/Mosel Verlag in Munich.
He also works as a graphic designer, designing posters, magazine covers, logos (the logo of his hometown The Hague in Holland is his), and 10 album sleeves for, amongst others, Depeche Mode and The American composer Herbert Grönemeyer. He also works as a stage designer, having done all of Depeche Mode’s world tours since 1993, for which he has won international acclaim.
Mr. Corbijn has directed short films, including Some YoYo Stuff, an interpretation of and with artist Captain Beefheart, alias Don Van Vliet, starring David Lynch. He has directed over 75 music videos. Among the latter have been over a dozen Depeche Mode videos, such as “Enjoy the Silence” and “Personal Jesus;” Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” for which he won an MTV Video Music Award; U2's “One” and “Electrical Storm,” starring Samantha Morton; Johnny Cash’s “Dehlia's Gone,” with Kate Moss; Nick Cave’s “Straight to You;” Metallica’s “Hero of the Day;” the Killers' “All These Things That I’ve Done;” Coldplay’s “Talk” and the original “Viva la Vida,” the song being based on Mr. Corbijn's video for Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” and which he shot in his hometown The Hague; and several for Herbert Grönemeyer, amongst which was "Mensch," the biggest song Mr. Grönemeyer ever released. He was the first director ever to receive a Golden Frog at Lodz’ Camerimage film festival, in 2007, for contribution to music video. A collection of his video work was released by Palm Pictures in 2005 on the DVD The Work of Director Anton Corbijn.
The American is his second feature film as director, following the 2007 drama Control, which won 5 British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) as well as over a dozen other awards worldwide including the Best New British Feature award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Control starred Sam Riley, a new acting discovery, who went on to win several awards for his role as Ian Curtis amongst which was a BIFA, as did Toby Kebbell, who played the manager. Samantha Morton, who starred as Ian’s wife Debbie, was a BIFA nominee and earned a BAFTA Award nomination, as did the film itself.