Tom Tykwer is a film fan who made it big. Like many aspiring directors, he began making Super 8 movies at a young age and worked in numerous cinemas as a volunteer or porjectionist, just so that he could see more movies. His attempts to apply for film school failed, however, and instead Tykwer made a name for himself as a respected film buff. In 1990, Tykwer was inspired by filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim to begin making short films. The shorts Because and Epilog were both well-received by their audiences, and Tykwer decided to pursue filmmaking. In the early 1990s, Tykwer made a number of German films, including Deadly Maria, Life Is All You Get, and Winter Sleepers. While these films were similarly well-received to his shorts, Tykwer was struggling financially. In 1998, however, that changed with the release of his film Run Lola Run. The movie was a success worldwide, and Tykwer gained international attention as a result. Following the success of Run Lola Run, Tykwer reteamed with Franke Potente for The Princess and the Warrior, wrote and directed the film Heaven starring Cate Blanchett and Giovanni Ribisi, directed a segment in the anthology film Paris, je t’aime, the Clive Owen thriller The International, and the highly underrated Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. His next film, Cloud Atlas, is being made in conjunction with the Wachowskis, and is set to be released this year. Tom Tykwer turns 47 today.