Christian Frei was born in 1959, in Schönenwerd, Switzerland. He studied Visual Media at the Department of Journalism and Communication at Fribourg University. He shot his first documentary in 1981, and has been working as an independent filmmaker and producer since 1984. He works regularly for Swiss National Television SF DRS. In 1997, he shot his first feature length documentary, Ricardo, Miriam y Fidel, the tale of a Cuban family torn between loyalty to the revolutionary ideals and the desire to emigrate to the United States. In 2001, his War Photographer followed photojournalist James Nachtwey during his various missions. The film received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature and won twelve International Filmfestivals. The Giant Buddhas, his third documentary feature, wins the 2005 Silver Dove at the Leipzig Film Festival and enters competition at the renowned film festivals of Sundance and Toronto. In 2009, his newest doumentary feature Space Tourists is invited again to numerous international film festival and enters competition in Amsterdam and Sundance, where he is the first Swiss film to win the World Cinema Directing Award.
Christian Frei is an associate lecturer on Reflection Competence at the University of St. Gallen. In 2006 - 2009 he was president of the Documentary Film Commission of the Swiss Ministry of Culture. Since August 2010 he is President of the Swiss Film Academy. He lives and works in Zurich.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.