People of Germany: Roland Emmerich (*Nov 10, 1955) is a German film director, screenwriter, and producer, widely known for his disaster films. His films, most of which are English-language Hollywood productions, have made more than $3 billion worldwide, including just over $1 billion in the USA, making him the USA’s 11th-highest-grossing director of all time. He is a collector of art, an active campaigner for LGBT rights, and is openly gay.
He was born in Stuttgart, Southwestern Germany, and grew up in nearby Sindelfingen. As a youth, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America on vacations financed by his father, Hans, the wealthy founder of a garden machinery production company. In 1977, he began attending University of Television & Film Munich to become a production designer. After watching Star Wars, he instead decided to enroll in their film director program. Required to create a short film as his final thesis, in 1981, he wrote and directed the full-length feature The Noah’s Ark Principle, which was screened as the opening film of the 34th Berlin International Film Festival in 1984. He owns homes in Los Angeles, NYC, London, and Stuttgart.
His films include Joey, Eye of the Storm, Universal Soldier, The High Crusade, Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla, The 13th Floor, The Patriot, Eight Legged Freaks, The Day After Tomorrow, Trade, 10,000 BC, 2012, White House Down, and Independence Day: Resurgence, among others.