Percy Adlon is best known for his film "Bagdad Café" aka "Out of Rosenheim". He was
born in Munich, June 1, 1935, and grew up in Ammerland/Starnbergersee, in the Bavarian
countryside. He studied art and theater history, and German literature at Munich's
Ludwig-Maximilian University, took acting and singing classes, and was a member of
the student theater group. He started his professional career as an actor, became
interested in radio work, was a narrator and editor of literature series and a presenter
and voice-over actor in television for 10 years.
In 1970 he made his first short film for the Bavarian Television, followed by more
than 150 documentary films about art and the human condition. His first one-hour
portrait "Tomi Ungerer's Landleben" started a very successful co-operation with Benigna
von Keyserlingk who became the Adlon's television producer of documentaries and feature
Percy and Eleonore Adlon formed their film production company, pelemele FILM GmbH,
in 1978. Their first project was the docu-drama "The Guardian and his Poet" about
the Swiss poet Robert Walser for which they won 2 Adolf-Grimme Awards in Gold (best
writer/director, best actor). Their first feature film "Céleste", drew international
attention at Cannes in 1981. "Bagdad Cafe", 1987, started their co-operation with
Dietrich v. Watzdorf (Bayerischer Rundfunk) The story of Jasmin Münchgstettner and
the Café owner Brenda became a symbol of friendship and warmth, and is loved all
over the globe. Marianne Sägebrecht whom Percy Adlon discovered in 1979 became a
cult figure, and Bob Telson's song "Calling You" a classic.
Percy and Eleonore Adlon live in Pacific Palisades, California, working together
with their son Felix whose first feature film "Eat Your Heart Out" (1997) they produced
with their US company Leora Films. Felix was also the lead in the Adlons' docu-fantasy
"The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel". (Bavarian TV award).
In 1997 Percy Adlon started working with a digital camera. He filmed a three hour
special about the draftsman Tomi Ungerer for ARTE; Mozart's "Magic Flute" with images
of today's Berlin; Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil; 22 short films based on unknown
masterpieces by Johann Strauss, Jr.; a 90 minute film about his past and present
relationship with his hometown Munich, "Mein München", and most recently he completed
his tenth feature film HAWAiiAN GARDENS; and a documentary KOENIG'S SPHERE - the
story of the monumental world trade center sculpture that was damaged but not destroyed
in the 9/11 attack.
The new possibilities for truly independent filmmaking are most fascinating to Percy
Adlon. He believes that only films that are made without any commercial speculations
can create innovations for the film industry.
Percy and Eleonore Adlon have won numerous awards, including top honors in Rio de
Janeiro for "Bagdad Cafe", and in Montreal for "Salmonberries", two Césars, the Ernst-Lubitsch-Award,
the Swedish and the Danish Academy awards, the Prix Humanum, Belgium, prizes in Venice,
Chicago, Valladolid, Brussels, Tokyo as well as Bavarian and German Federal Film
Awards, among others.
Remembering his roots in theater, in 2002 Percy Adlon directed Donizetti's Elisir
d'Amore at the State Opera unter den Linden, Berlin, followed in March 2004 by the
world premiere of Wilfried Hiller's opera WOLKENSTEIN at the State Opera Nuernberg,
Percy and Eleonore Adlon's newest work is their own adaptation of Bagdad Café for
the stage as a musical. Music by Bob Telson. It premiered on July 6, 2004, at the
Barcelona Teatre Musical.
Percy Adlon is the recipient of the Officer's Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany,
and the Bavarian Order of Merit. He is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences.