Founder of Curly Lizard Films, Jonathan Schütz has worked in documentary and factual television for over 25 years. A highly experienced Executive Producer and Series Producer, his trademark is international production, often with a special focus on Southeast and East Asia.

Jonathan Schütz, founder of Curly Lizard Films

The Beginnings

After attending Oxford University, Jonathan volunteered at the National Film School assisting with student productions – the most direct way he could find to respond to his emerging passion for filmmaking. He quickly progressed from rolling cables and continuity into the edit room. After a couple of experimental films (shot on Super-8/16mm and thankfully long lost), he turned his focus to current events, for which it turns out he was much better suited.

Jonathan Schütz Founder of Curly Lizard Films, shoot on Qingdao beach, Shandong

The Wild East: Central & Eastern Europe

A penchant for travel and family roots in Austria led Jonathan to Vienna, where he landed his first TV job as a de facto journalist covering the Austrian presidential elections and interviewing the then Chancellor Franz Vranitzky. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, he spent the next years crisscrossing Central and Eastern Europe. From war-torn Balkans and a leper colony in Romania, to digging up eccentric stories in the Ukraine, Hungary, and Moldova (including the breakaway Soviet republic, Transnistria), he learned to expect the unexpected – and make TV out of it. Along the way, he added Hungarian to his roster of languages, and almost sprained his brain in the process.

Jonathan Schütz Founder of Curly Lizard Films, shoot in Salzkammergut

The New Millennium: Travels to Asia

In 2002 Nat Geo hired Jonathan to produce and direct a documentary on Hong Kong’s legendary horse-racing and gambling scene. He immediately discovered an affinity for the region and has spent the last 20 years filming and producing extensively across Southeast and East Asia.

Jonathan Schütz Founder of Curly Lizard Films with Living Buddha, Gansu, China

Cultural sensitivity and a smile: key to a smooth Production

A born global nomad, Jonathan has worked on projects on five continents and in over 40 countries. Always embracing each culture with respect and humility, he aims to discover unique insights into the amazing people and places of this world, revealing them through compelling stories and images that serve to connect us and ultimately capture our imaginations.

Jonathan Schütz Founder of Curly Lizard Films, shoot in Terengganu, Malaysia

Notable Productions

Laoshan – China’s Holy Mountain: a series for National Geographic covering the culture, history and mythology of a site holy to Buddhists and Taoists alike.

Shandong, Land of Confucius: a programme for National Geographic on the trail of Confucius in his home province in Eastern China, with insights into his influence on the current way of life.

Khan Sar Kyi: the pilot for a now long-running political travel series covering Burma, focusing on truth and reconciliation in that troubled land.

City ReDesign: a 4-hour history of Singapore marking the 50th anniversary of Independence told through its stunning architecture, for state broadcaster CNA.


Arte | BBC Media Action | CNA | Discovery Channel | France 3 | History Channel | National Geographic | NHK World | Rai 2 | Reader’s Digest | SWR | Travel Channel | ZDF

CIIDS (China) | E&O | Msheireb Properties | Qatar Charity | Shell


English (native) | German | French | Italian | Russian | Hungarian