From 1992 to 1995, Franziska Petri studied at the renowned „Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art“ in Berlin. Her cinema debut was a part in „The Big Mambo“ („Das Mambospiel“) by Michael Gwisdek in 1997, which opened the 48th Berlin International Film Festival. With her first leading role in in the award-winning „Forget America“ („Vergiss Amerika“) she attracted both critics' and audiences' attention. After leading roles in the most diverse cinema productions like the historic drama „Leo & Claire“ by Joseph Vilsmaier, the quirky comedy „Max & Moritz Reloaded“ by Thomas Frydetzki, the gloomy thriller „The Heart Is a Dark Forest“ („Das Herz ist ein dunkler Wald“) by Nicolette Krebitz, the political drama „Long Shadows“ („Schattenwelt“) by Connie Walther or the psychological drama „Memory“ („Der Tag, an dem ich meinen toten Mann traf“) by Matthias Luthardt, she appeared in the psychothriller „For Miriam“ („Für Miriam“) by Lars Gunnar Lotz. For her outstanding performance in „For Miriam“ she was awarded
Best Actress at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival 2009 (Perspektive Deutsches Kino),
Best Actress at La Cabina. Festival Internacional de Mediometrajes de Valencia, Spain 2010
and Best Actress at the 11th Aubagne International Film Festival, France 2010. In 2011 she played the starring role in Kirill Serebrennikov's dark tale of love Izmena/Betrayal, which premiered in the official competition of the Venice Film Festival 2012. For her impressive performance she was awarded Best Actress at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Film Festival.