Ulrike Ottinger grew up in the city of Constance on the lake where she set up her own studio at an early age. From 1962 until the beginning of 1969, she worked as an independent artist in Paris, while learning the technique of etching from Johnny Friedlaender. She exhibited her work at the Biennale internationale de l’estampe, Paris and in various galleries. In the early 70s, her interest in painting, photography and performance leads her into making films. Her first film script, The Mongolian Double Drawer (Die Mongolische Doppelschublade) was written in 1966.
Numerous prizes have been awarded to Ulrike Ottinger for her films: the Montréal public jury prize, the German National Film Prize (visual design) for Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia (1989), the German Film Review Prize for Documentaries for China. The Arts – The People (1986), Prater (2008) and Chamisso’s Shadow (2016) and the Berlinale Camera at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.