10 november, 1955
Roland Emmerich (German: [ˈʁoːlant ˈɛməʁɪç]; born November 10, 1955) is a German film director, screenwriter, and producer. His films, most of which are Hollywood productions filmed in English, have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, more than those of any other European directors. His films have grossed just over $1 billion in the United States, making him the country's 14th-highest grossing director of all time. He began his work in the film industry by directing the film The Noah's Ark Principle as part of his university thesis and also co-founded Centropolis Entertainment in 1985 with his sister. He is a collector of art and an active campaigner for the lesbian and gay community, himself being openly gay. He is also a campaigner for an awareness of global warming and equal rights.
Emmerich has directed many successful films, mostly disaster films such as Independence Day (1996), The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and 2012 (2009); also Stargate (1994) and The Patriot (2000). Although many of his films have been successful in the box office, others such as Universal Soldier (1992), Godzilla (1998) and 10,000 BC (2008) have been negatively reviewed by critics.
Emmerich was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and grew up in the nearby town of Sindelfingen. As a youth, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America on vacations financed by his father, Hans, the wealthy founder of a garden machinery production company. In 1977, he began attending University of Television and Film Munich with the intention of studying to become a production designer. After watching Star Wars, he instead decided to enroll in the school's film director program. Required to create a short film as his final thesis in 1981, he wrote and directed the full-length feature The Noah's Ark Principle, which was eventually screened as the opening film of the 34th Berlin International Film Festival in 1984.
In 1985, he founded Centropolis Film Productions (now Centropolis Entertainment) in partnership with his sister, producer Ute Emmerich, and directed his major film debut, a fantasy feature named Joey. He subsequently directed the 1987 comedy Hollywood-Monster and the 1990 science-fiction film Moon 44. Theatrically, these were only released in and nearby his native country, although Emmerich filmed them in English and went against conventional German styles in an attempt to appeal to a larger market. This subsequently resulted in Moon 44 being released direct-to-video in the U.S. in early 1991. Joey and Hollywood-Monster eventually also saw home video releases in the U.S. (as Making Contact and Ghost Chase, respectively) once Emmerich achieved more prominence in America.