Soleen Yusef was born in Duhok/Iraqi Kurdistan. At the age of nine she and her family had to flee to Germany because of the political circumstances. She graduated high school in Berlin and afterwards attended the Academy of Stage Arts, where she was trained as a singer and actress. Meanwhile she also finished her training as a fashion seamster and tried out her expertise in different creative fields. Eventually she ended up working in the film industry for a few years and was a production and director assistant at Mîtosfilm.

In 2008 she then started studying feature film directing at the Baden-Wurttemberg Film Academy. Her film TRATTORIA, which she had made in her third year, premiered at the 62. Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. Because of her outstanding academic achievements, Soleen Yusef was distinguished with the Germany Scholarship in 2012. She also participated as a Baden-Wurttemberg scholarship holder in the UCLA Workshop at the Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2013. HOUSE WITHOUT ROOF, which is not only her graduating project but also her first feature film, that has been shot in spring 2015 within and around her hometown Duhok, could achieve a great success.

Since then, Soleen has been working as a director for several international series productions. Among others for NETFLIX and AMAZON PRIME. In addition to developing her own cinema and television projects as a creator, Soleen Yusef is currently writing an adaptation of Abbas Khider's novel A SLAP IN THE FACE, which will be produced by UFA FICTION.
With WINNERS she is fulfilling a long-awaited dream, developing her first children's feature film together with DCM Pictures.




Creator Anna Winger & Jörg Winger
  • Jonas Nay
  • Maria Schrader
  • Sylvester Groth
  • UFA Fiction for Amazon Prime
    3 x 50'
    Creator Dennis Schanz
  • Peri Baumeister
  • Gia Bay
  • Sahin Eryilmaz
  • Komplizen Film for Netflix
    Producer Viktor Witte & Stefan Retzbach
  • Fritz Karl
  • Cornelius Obonya
  • Ulrike C. Tscharre
  • Mona Film Produktion for ServusTV
    Producer Jörg Winger
  • Melanie Marschke
  • Marco Girnth
  • UFA Fiction for ZDF


    Writer & Director 

    Producer Mehmet Aktas & Jana Raschke

    Bratislava International Film Festival – Best Director
    Duhok International Film Festival – Audience Award for the best Kurdish Feature Film
    Winner of German First Steps Award
    Montréal World Film Festival – Grand Prix Special des Amériques

    Mîtosfilm in co-production with SWR/ARTE and Essence Film
    Producer Jana Raschke & Maximilian Vetter
    Film Academy Baden-Wurttemberg