Burhan was born in 1980 in Germany, where his parents arrived in 1979 as political refugees from Afghanistan. Since his father worked as a civilian employee for the U.S. Army, he grew up in many different cities across the country. After finishing high school, he worked at various theatres as an assistant dramaturg and director. In 2002, he began his studies in film directing at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. During his studies, Burhan gained experience as a first assistant director, set manager and scriptwriter/doctor for several film projects both in and outside the Film Academy. For his short film ILLUSION, Burhan won the German Film Critics Award for short film and the Black Pearl Award at the Middle East International Film Festival 2008 as “Best Upcoming Filmmaker” of the year. Burhan’s first full-length feature film, SHAHADA, was shown in the competition at the 60th Berlinale 2010 and awarded a Gold Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival, among other prizes.



Alexanderplatz (AT)
Based on the novel „Berlin Alexanderplatz“ by Alfred Döblin
Feature film/ZDF – Das kleine Fernsehspiel
Production: Sommerhaus Filmproduktion
Screenplay co-written with Martin Behnke, director

In postproduction
Supported by:
Filmstiftung NRW
2016 Euroimage Co-Production Development Award at Rotterdam International Filmfestival


Wir sind jung. Wir sind stark. / We are young. We are strong.
Feature film (120 min)
Distributor: Zorro Film
Production: Ufa Fiction in co-production with ZDF
Screenplay co-written with Martin Behnke, director
Release date: 22 January 2015
Premiere: Rome International Film Festival 2014 (Opening Film Cinema d’Oggi)
“AMC Award/Best Editing”, “SIGNIS Award – Ente dello Spettacolo” and “Sorriso Diverso Roma/Social Award”, Rome International Film Festival 2014
“Best Costume” and “Best Scenography”, Hof International Film Festival 2014
“Kinema Award”, Braunschweig International Film Festival 2014
“Best Leading Actor” German Actors Guild 2015
“Jury Prize” Sofia Film Festival 2015
“Lola for Best Supporting Actor” German Academy Awards 2015
“Peace Prize of German Cinema” 2015
Bavarian Film Prize for “Best Script” 2016
and many more…

Festivals (Official selection):
Rome International Film Festival 2014 (Italy)
Hofer Filmtage 2014 (Germany)
Braunschweig International Film Festival 2014 (Germany)
Göteborg International Film Festival 2015 (Sweden)
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2015 (Netherlands)
Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival 2015 (Norway)
Sofia International Film Festival 2015 (Bulgaria)
Aubagne International Film Festival 2015 (France)
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2015 (Ireland)
Prague European Film Festival 2015 (Czech Republic)
Tribeca International Film Festival 2015 (USA)
Ankara International Film Festival 2015 (Turkey)
Mooov Film Festival 2015 (Belgium)
Off Camera Film Festival Krakow 2015 (Poland)
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015 (Scotland/UK)
and many more…

Festivals (special screenings):
Berlinale 2015 (Germany)
Schwerin International Film Festival 2015 (Germany)


Krieger ohne Feind (20xBrandenburg)
Documentary short (15 min)
Production: DOKfilm GmbH under the artistic direction of Andreas Dresen/RBB
Screenwriter, director
Awards: German Grimme Prize 2011


Feature film (90 min)
Distributor: 3 Rosen
Production: bittersüess pictures GmbH
Screenplay co-written with Ole Giec, director
“Best Film in the Competition”, Prize of German Arthouse Theaters, 60th Berlinale 2010, Germany
“Gold Hugo”, New Directors Competition, Chicago International Film Festival 2010, USA
Hessen Film Prize 2010, “Best Film of the Year”, Germany
2 German Art Film Prizes, “Most Unique Form”, “Most Unique Idea”, Festival of German Cinema 2010, Germany
Merit Award, “Best Production”, International Student Festival Sehsüchte 2010, Germany
“Best Upcoming Screenwriter”, Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award 2010, Germany
“Best Upcoming Producer”, Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award 2010, Germany
Special Prize, “Best Camera”, First Steps Awards, Germany
“Best Actress” (Maryam Zaree), Monterrey Film Festival 2010, Mexico
“Best Actress” (Maryam Zaree), Ghent International Film Festival 2010, Belgium
“Grand Prix/Best Film”, Saint Jean de Luz Film Festival 2010, France
“Grand Prix/Best Film”, Cinessonne Film Festival 2010, France


Short film (9 min)
Production: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Co-writer, director
Special Jury Prize, Novi Sad Film Festival, Serbia 2008
“Best Upcoming Filmmaker”, Black Pearl Award Middle Eastern International Film Festival
“Best German Short”, German Critics Award, Germany 2008
“Jury Award” International Short Film Festival Hamburg, Germany 2008.
German Camera Award “Best Short”, 2008


Vögel ohne Beine
Production: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Co-writer, director
Nominated for the “Promotional Award of the German Camera Award”, 2006
Nominated for the “Producer Award” at the Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival, Potsdam, 2006


Still on Earth
Short film
Production: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Screenwriter, director


Nur wenn sie schlafen
Short film
Production: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Screenwriter, director
Nominated for the “Golden Horseman”, Filmfest Dresden, 2004