Besides working on his various movie projects, he also works as a professor for directing at the Vienna Film Academy.
He started his career as a playwright for the Südwestfunk (ARD) in 1967 and started working as a freelance director for TV and theater in 1970.
He was raised in the city of Wiener Neustadt, Austria and later studied psychology, philosophy and theatrical sciences at the University of Vienna, Austria.
Son of director and actor Fritz Haneke and actress Beatrix Degenschild. Father of David Haneke.
Directed his first opera, "Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in Paris. His unconventional interpretation caused mixed reactions among critics and the audience (27 January 2006).
Named his ten favorite films in the 2002 Sight & Sound Greatest Films Poll: Au Hasard Balthazar (1966), Lancelot of the Lake (1974), The Mirror (1975), Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), The Exterminating Angel (1962), The Gold Rush (1925), Psycho (1960), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Germany Year Zero (1948) and L'Eclisse (1962).
His statement that "A feature film is twenty-four lies per second" is a reversal of and most likely a reference to Jean-Luc Godard's famous quote, "The cinema is truth, twenty-four frames per second.".
One of 105 people invited to join AMPAS in 2008.
He has made films in French, German and English.
He is fluent in French, English and German.
As a playwright he directed a number of stage productions in German, which included works by August Strindberg, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Heinrich von Kleist in Berlin, Munich and Vienna.
Started making feature films after 21 years of working in Television. He was 46.
As of 2013, has directed one actress to an Academy Award-nominated performance: Emmanuelle Riva (Best Actress, Amour (2012)).
Twice winner of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for The White Ribbon (2009) and Amour (2012). The other directors to have won the Palme twice are Bille August, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, Alf Sjöberg, Shôhei Imamura, Emir Kusturica, Francis Ford Coppola and Ken Loach.
After the death of Michael's mother, his stepfather Alexander Steinbrecher married the set designer Elisabeth Urbancic, who happens to be the mother of actor Christoph Waltz.
Enjoys watching Italian westerns (aka spaghetti westerns).
Directed his first feature film when he was 46 years old.
As of 2012, has had 6 films in the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival.
He enjoyed an unexpected popularity among film fans and the internet world when a Twitter account with his name and profile appeared during the 2012-2013 awards season when he received Oscar nominations for Amour (2012). The @Michael_Haneke account was a satirical account which posted from random opinions on movies from other directors to photos of cats and even a funny coverage of the Oscars, always written with abbreviations, spelling errors as if he was trying to provide some "accent" (e.g. "y no1 ask me 2 ice buckit chalenge lol"). Despite the enormous popularity (reaching 31.000 of followers) and even getting replies from official blogs belonging to real directors and actors, that Twitter didn't belong to Haneke - as he admitted to media when asked about it, in fact he wasn't even aware of such blog. The blog was written by a 28 year-old British journalist named Benjamin Lee, who is a big fan of Michael Haneke, and who revealed his identity after the awards season was over.
Between 2012 and 2015, he had been working on 'Flashmob', a movie about on-line communities . It has been suggested that the project was canceled because funding for the film fell through. Haneke himself has stated that the main reason for abandoning the film was that the actress he had in mind for the lead role wasn't available.