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Katja von Garnier was born in 1966 in Wiesbaden and studied at the Academy for Television & Film (HFF/M) in Munich from 1989-1994. She founded the VELA-X Filmproduktion with fellow student Ewa Karlstroem in 1990 and made her directorial debut with the short Lautlos in 1991. The feature Making Up (Abgeschminkt, 1993) won her a Bavarian Film Prize, the Student OSCAR, German Film Prize for Best Newcomer Director and the Ernst Lubitsch Prize in 1994. She made a documentary on the making of In The Line Of Fire in 1994 and shot her first feature-length film Bandits in 1996.