Alejandro González Iñárritu was born 1963 in Mexico City. In his ‘death trilogy’ works AMORES PERROS, 21 GRAMS and BABEL, a tragic event takes place at the beginning of each film, which brings together the lives of its protagonists in a tragic manner. BABEL brought him the Golden Palm for Best Director at Cannes. Debuted in 2010, his film BIUTIFUL was nominated for two Academy Awards and a Golden Palm, but it was BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) in 2015 which overwhelmed him with international prizes - including 4 Oscars.
Born in Vienna in 1972, Jessica Hausner studied directing at Vienna’s film academy. She won a Pardino at Locarno Film Festival for FLORA, her first short film. In 1999, she co-founded the now internationally renowned coop99 production company together with Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda and Martin Gschlacht. Jessica Hausner attracted international attention with her 2001 film LOVELY RITA, an impressive study of everyday alienation. She bravely tackled the psychological thriller genre with HOTEL in 2004. Her 2009 film LOURDES was invited to participate in the 66th Venice Film Festival’s competition and won the renowned FIPRESCI award.
Nenad Puhovski was born 1949 in Zagreb/Croatia and received Ex-Yugoslavia’s most renowned film awards for young filmmakers before studying sociology and philosophy at Zagreb’s faculty for philosophy, with parallel studies in film and television directing at the Academy for Drama and Arts. His documentary films DEAD HARBOUR, BORDERLINE OF HUNGERS and VOLUNTEER STORIES highlight social issues. The visual arts form another of his focal points (FIVE FILMS ABOUT NIVES KK, IN QUEST OF SUTEJ etc.). In 1996, Puhovski founded Factum, which soon became Croatia’s most influential documentary film production company. Nenad Puhovski gives workshops around the world.
Jennifer Fox is an internationally sought-after director, producer and camerawoman. Her debut film BEIRUT: THE LAST HOME MOVIE (1987) was screened in 20 countries and has won several prizes, including the Sundance Festival’s Best Documentary Film in 1988. The New York Times and other publications ranked the AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY series, produced, directed and shot by Fox, amongst the top-ten series of 1999. Jennifer Fox’s six-part FLYING CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN celebrated its premiere at the 2006 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. She produced PROJECT TEN: REAL STORIES FROM A FREE SOUTH AFRICA for South African TV. Another work of Fox was RINPOCHE: A FATHER & SON STORY centers on an exiled Tibetan Master and his son and took her 20 years to complete.
Academy Award-winning Vilmos Zsigmond’s filmography reads like a mini Best of American Masterpieces from the last decade. Born in Hungary, Zsigmond migrated to the USA in 1957 carrying 35 mm recordings of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, and established himself as one of his new homeland’s most important cameramen within the space of a few short years. He celebrated his Hollywood breakthrough after collaborating with the most influential directors of the 70s: Robert Altman’s anti-Western McCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971) brought him his first BAFTA nomination. With several Academy Award nominations and an Oscar for Steven Spielberg’s science fiction film CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), Zsigmond was one of America’s greatest and most renowned cameramen. His image language has shaped innumerable films including OBSESSION (1976) THE DEER HUNTER (1978), HEAVEN’S GATE (1980) and YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (2010). He died 2016 at the age of 85.
The unearthly worlds of the Lynch’s universe in LOST HIGHWAY (1997) and WILD AT HEART (1990) do not arise exclusively from the gloomy fantasies of a certain David Lynch: The US American author and screenwriter Barry Gifford made his name penning the screenplays to the above-mentioned masterpieces. Gifford’s tales of the American dark side are not limited to the screenplays for such films as PERDITA DURANGO (Àlex de la Iglesia, 1997) or CITY OF GHOSTS (Matt Dillon, 2002), but are also encompassed in his multi-published, widely translated literary works, including the series of novels ‘Sailor & Lula’, the first volume of which ‘Wild at Heart’ formed the basis of Lynch’s namesake film.
The Swiss trio, Dario Suter (32), Christoph Daniel and Marc Schmidheiny (both 26), got their feet in the film world door after founding their Berlin-based company DCM Mitte Productions. Their first film WAFFENSTILLSTAND (director: Lancelot von Naso) celebrated its European premiere last year in the Zurich Film Festival’s German-Language Feature Film Competition and won the Audience Award. The three were in the process of producing their own material and were additionally working on German and English language co-productions. This young company hopes to expand its production business into the field of distribution in the near future.