Ulrike Koch

was born in Germany and studied sinology, japanology and anthropology at Zürich and Beijing Universities. She speaks Mandarin and has many years of work experience in China. She writes on Chinese cinema for international film medias and is head of Sinofilm Consulting in Zollikon, Switzerland. Before directing her own films, she worked as casting director on THE LAST EMPEROR as well as on LITTLE BUDDHA, both by Bernardo Bertolucci, as assistant director on JOANNA D'ARC OF MONGOLIA (1989) by Ulrike Ottinger and on URGA (1991) by Nikita Mikhalkov. and as production consultant for LIFE ON A STRING (1991) by Chen Kaige.


«Traditional Medicine in Asia. Qi-Gong in China», 1996; «The Saltmen of Tibet, 1997; «Asshak – Tales from the Sahara», 2002; «Guge – Restoring for the Buddhas», 2006.

Asshak – Tales from the Sahara (0+)

Germany , 2002, 110 min.
Director: Ulrike Koch
In a world that fluctuates between the extremes of burning heat and chilling cold, the magnificence of the starry sky and the scant light of a campfire, the Tuareg have made their home in the vastness of the Sahara. This nomadic tribe’s love for beauty, music and poetry lives on still today. The Tuareg introduce us to a world where “Ässhäk” - respect for other human beings, patience and mindfulness – ultimately guides their lives.


Philadelphia Film Festival 2004 - Best director; Festival du nouveau cinéma Montréal 2004 - Best Documentary Award; Hong Kong Intl. Film Festival 2005 - Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Documentary; Adolf-Grimme-Prize 2006, Germany - Nomination «Information & Culture»