Luis Trenker (actually Alois Franz Trenker) October 4, 1892 in St. Ulrich, Südtirol; † April 12, 1990 in Bozen, Südtirol, was a German film director, architect, and actor.
Trenker studied architecture after Abitur from 1912 till the outbreak of World War I. He fought on the Austrian side, serving mainly in the Alps. He wrote several books literally based upon his war experiences, the most important of which were Fort Rocca Alta and Berge in Flammen.
After the war, he resumed his studies, and worked in Bozen as an architect.
His first contact with film came in 1921, in which he helped Arnold Fanck on a mountain film. The main actor could not perform the stunts required, and so Trenker assumed the leading role. He gradually assumed more roles on set, and by 1928 was directing, writing and starring in his films. By this year he had abandoned his job as an architect to concentrate on art and married Hilde Bleichert, with whom he had four children.
The main theme of Trenker's work was the idealization of connection with the homeland and pointing out the decadence of city life. This loosely played into the hands of Nazi propogandists, who seized upon the nationalistic elements of his work. However, Luis refused to allow his work to subverted as such and eventually moved to Rome to avoid further governmental pressure. This, though, was not to be and after a pair of documentary films Trenker returned to Bozen to quit making movies.
After the war Trenker was accused of fascist opportunism but eventually the charges were dropped. In the mid 50's he again able to make movies, though by 1965 he had switched mainly to the documentary form, focusing mainly upon the Austrian Tyrol.
He also returned to writing about the mountains there, eventually dying at the age 97 in 1990.