He was the theatre director of the city theatre in Bochum (Schauspielhaus Bochum). He also wrote and acted in several plays (1995-2000), and had a role in the Detlev Buck film, Männerpension. His feature film breakthrough came with Sonnenallee in 1999.
His second feature, Herr Lehmann, followed in 2003.
His production of Die Fledermaus in Munich was controversial, compounding the trouble surrounding his production of Peter Pan. As a result, his scheduled production of Romeo and Juliet was cancelled.