Jayakrishnan Subramanian was born in Tamil Nadu, India. Before following his true passion for art, he studied mechanical engineering at his parents' request. He honed his creative skills by studying graphic design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. On the other side of the world, Franziska Schönenberger was born to a Swiss father and a Bavarian mother. She immersed herself in journalism and literature while earning an MA in Literature and Film Studies. Her journey as a storyteller then led her to study directing at the University of Television and Film Munich. Meanwhile their paths crossed between Munich and Mumbai. This is where their collaboration began. This partnership led Jayakrishnan to relocate to Weimar, Germany. He completed a Master's degree in Media Art at the Bauhaus University. With the aim of bridging gaps and promoting understanding, both filmmakers channel their diverse cultural backgrounds into their cinematic endeavours.
Their debut into cross-cultural filmmaking resulted in AMMA AND APPA, a project that premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. Appearing at over 50 festivals worldwide, the documentary embarked on a global festival tour. It won and got nominated e.g. for the Berlinale Dialogue en Perspective, the Documentary Talent Award Dokfest Munich or the Starter Newcomer Award. Franziska also wrote her semi-autobiographical novel SWAPPING DIRNDL FOR SARI, published by Hoffmann und Campe. Their collaboration extended to their second feature film, THE SHADOWS OF THE DESERT, with cinematography by Christopher Aoun, an Academy Award nominee. The film premiered in competition at Dokfest Munich and the São Paulo International Film Festival. It was accompanied by the podcast series DUBAI DREAMS, written by Franziska. Both films had successful theatrical releases in Germany. Their journey included the short film RETTAI JADAI - THE GIRL WITH THE RED RIBBONS, featuring Kalieaswari Srinivasan from the Palme d'Or-winning film Dheepan. This film earned several awards including the Oscar-qualifying Bengaluru International Short Film Festival. Their second short film, MY MIRROR, premiered at the International Film Festival Hof and captivated audiences on the festival circuit. Both films where suggested for the German Short Film Award in the same year. Their films travelled the world with screenings at festivals in cities like Los Angeles, Warsaw, Mumbai, Melbourne, Cannes, Toronto, Copenhagen, Tromso, and Tehran.
Recent projects include their scriptwriting funded debut feature BRIDE WITHOUT DOWRY, showcased in the Co-Production Market at NFDC Film Bazaar in Goa. In a collaborative effort with Kalieaswari Srinivasan, PAPER PLANES, was presented at Berlinale Talents and selected for the HerArts Development Lab Paestum and was shortlisted for the Mediterranean Film Institute Workshop. Their upcoming venture, MAYA'S SONG, was part of the Talents and the Short Film Market in Torino. The film is affiliated with SPOTS, an initiative by the German Film Academy advocating for film culture and democracy. Further they are working on the script for the Romcom THE SARASWATI OF ÖTTLING. Franziska and Jayakrishnan give workshops about cross-cultural and divers filmmaking at institutions such as the University of Television and Film Munich, Bauhaus University, the Goethe Institut or Cineuropa. Balancing their lives between Munich and Pondicherry, they question stereotypes in relation to culture, identity and gender in their films.