Christian Frei was born in 1959, in Schönenwerd, Switzerland. He studied Visual Media at the Department of Journalism and Communication at Fribourg University. He shot his first documentary in 1981, and has been working as an independent filmmaker and producer since 1984. He works regularly for Swiss National Television SF DRS.
In 1997, he shot his first feature length documentary, Ricardo, Miriam y Fidel, the tale of a Cuban family torn between loyalty to the revolutionary ideals and the desire to emigrate to the United States.
In 2001, his War Photographer followed photojournalist James Nachtwey during his various missions. The film received an Academy Award Nomination for "Best Documentary Feature" and won twelve International Filmfestivals. Christian Frei is currently working on his third feature film, which is set in Afghanistan.