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Sebastian Henckel von Donnersmarck was born in 1972 in Cologne. He studied Physics in Belgium and Austria, followed by studies in Direction at the Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies of the Film Institute Los Angeles. Together with his brother Florian, he has directed: Midnight (Mitternacht, 1997), Das Datum (1998), Temptation (1999), and The Crusader (Der Templer, 2002) which received the Eastman Promotional Award at Hof.