In 1982, together with Reinhard Brundig, he launched Pandora Film Distribution and it developed into one of the most important companies in the field of art house cinema. Pandora Film discovered filmmakers such as Andrej Tarkovsky, Jim Jarmusch, Sally Potter, Kim Ki Duk, and Aki Kaurismäki, as well as many others. With Jane Campion’s The Piano in 1993, Karl Baumgartner celebrated his first great success as distributor. It was followed by Emir Kusturica’s Palme d’Or winning Underground (1995), executively produced by Pandora Film.
As a producer, Karl Baumgartner has participated several times in the Berlin International Film Festival – in the Competition with the films Super 8 Stories by Emir Kusturica (out of competition, 2001), My Sweet Home by Filippos Tsitos (2001), Sam Garbarski’s Irina Palm (2007), and Jasmila Žbanić’s Na putu (On the Path, 2010). His most recent contribution to the Berlinale Competition was as co-producer of Kebun binatang (Postcards from the Zoo, 2012) by Edwin and Layla Fourie (2013) by Pia Marais.
The Berlinale Camera will be awarded to Karl Baumgartner at 4.00 pm on February 8, 2014 at the CinemaxX 9. It will be followed by the film Boheemielämää (La vie de bohème, 1992) by Aki Kaurismäki who, together with Festival Director Dieter Kosslick, will give a speech in Karl Baumgartner’s honor.
The Berlinale Camera has been awarded since 1986. Until 2003, it was donated by Berlin-based jeweller David Goldberg. From 2004 through 2013, Georg Hornemann Objects, a Dusseldorf-based atelier, sponsored the trophy, which goldsmith Hornemann redesigned for the Berlinale in 2008: Modelled on a real camera, the Berlinale Camera now has 128 finely crafted components. Many of these silver and titanium parts, such as the swivel head and tripod, are movable.