The idea is simple: Twenty-five countries, twenty-five visions from respected film directors from each of the respective countries that form the new European Community. Each director will give a personal vision of current or future life in this coming cultural melting pot.
The conditions are equally simple: Absolute freedom of expression. All films receive the same amount of money regulated to a EU-index. The length of each film is set to five minutes. The shooting format will be compatible to television 16:9. —visionsofeurope.dk
Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg of Turkish parentage. He began studying Visual Communications at Hamburg’s College of Fine Arts in 1994. His collaboration with Wüste Film also dates from this time. In 1995, he wrote and directed his first short feature, Sensin – You’re The One! (Sensin – Du Bist Es!), which received the Audience Award at the Hamburg International Short Film Festival. His second short film, Weed (Getuerkt, 1996), received several national and international festival prizes. His first full length feature film, Short Sharp Shock (Kurz Und Schmerzlos, 1998) won the Bronze Leopard at Locarno and the Bavarian Film Award (Best Young Director) in 1998. His other films include: In July (Im Juli, 2000), Wir Haben Vergessen Zurueckzukehren (2001), Solino (2002), the Berlinale Golden Bear-winner and winner of the German and European Film Awards Head-On (Gegen Die Wand, 2003), and Crossing the Bridge – The Sound of Istanbul (2005). —World Cinema Foundation read more
Barbara Albert (Vienna, 1970) is an Austrian writer, film-producer and film-director. She studied filmmaking at the Wiener Filmakademie. Her first film to become known to a larger audience was Nordrand, which describes the reality of life of Yugoslavian children in Vienna. She heads the production company Coop 99 with Jessica Hausner and Antonin Svoboda, among others. —Wikipedia
Šarūnas BARTAS (1964-) – Lithuanian film director, one of the most outstanding representatives of cinematographers. His contacts with cinema began in 1985 with the TV serial “Sixteen-years-olds” (dir. Raimondas Banionis), where Bartas played one of the main roles. He is a graduate of the Moscow Film School (VGIK). He made his directorial debut with his diploma film, the short documentary “Tofolaria” and mediocre-length film (which called spectators’ attention) “For the Remembrance of Last Day” (1989), where the real personages are “acting themselves” according to the principles of feature film. The author further “purified” the specific cinema language in the full-length film “Three Days” (1991), which was awarded the prize of oicumene committee at Berlin Film Festival (for the problems, the importance of the theme, the profundity) in 1992, and FIPRESCI Prize for the originality of the style, the significance of the theme, the beauty of pictures. This is a story (almost without plot… read more
Born in 1959 in Dudelange, Luxembourg. Since 1990 manager of the Luxembourg production firm Rattlesnake Pictures. Director of fiction, documentary, television and advertising films.
Christoffer Boe (born 1974) is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He is an established and well-known not only in Denmark, but all through the world. Among his international awards there are FIPRESCI Director of the Year at San Sebastián International Film Festival and Golden Camera at Cannes Film Festival in 2003. He is also co-founder and director of the film production company AlphaVille Pictures Copenhagen.
Boe was born in Rungsted just north of Copenhagen, Denmark. After school in Denmark, he went to study the history of cinematography in Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. Then, he continued his studies in Copenhagen University. In 1997 he decided to go deep into movie making and was accepted at the National Film School of Denmark director’s course.
During that time he directed a trilogy of short films: “Obsession” (1999), “Virginity” (2000) and “Anxiety” (2001). They were 20 to 30 minutes long and starred Maria Bonnevie and Nikolaj Lie Kaas. They’re all… read more
Francesca Comencini (born 19 August 1961) is an Italian film director and screenwriter. She attended the Lycée français Chateaubriand school with her sisters. She has directed 14 films since 1984. Her film Le parole di mio padre was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. She was married with French producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier. —Wikipedia
Stijn Coninx fell into the magic potion pot when he was a kid …
This standard expression is not from yesterday and it is being used very often, whether it is relevant or not. However, it is totally relevant when it comes to describing the life and career of an artist of great stature, and Stijn Coninx undoubtedly can be considered as such in our Belgian audiovisual landscape.
His Lordship Stijn Coninx, the maker of the mythical movie Daens, was born on February 21,1957, in Neerpelt and grew up since childhood in the world of pictures. Being the son of a photographer who was a great fan of Chaplin and Keaton, Stijn Coninx quickly came to like “lively images” and so he started – and completed – studies as a film director at the RITS school in Brussels. In the eighties, the artist fulfilled three great projects of his. The first one, his end of studies film Servais , is a documentary in which the director is making the spectator acquainted in an adult and successful way with… read more
Tony Gatlif (born as Michel Dahmani on September 10, 1948 in Algiers, Algeria) is a French film director of Romani ethnicity who also works as a screenwriter, composer, actor, and producer.
After a childhood in Algiers, Gatlif arrived in France in 1960 following the Algerian War of Independence. Gatlif struggled for years to break into the film industry, playing in several theatrical productions until directing his first film, La Tête en ruine, in 1975. He followed it with the 1979 La Terre au ventre, a story of the Algerian War of Independence.
Since the 1981 Corre, gitano, Gatlif’s work has been focused on the Roma people of Europe, from whom he partially traces his descent.
After making Gaspard et Robinson in 1990, Gatlif spent 1992 and 1993 shooting Latcho Drom, which was awarded numerous prizes. This feature-length musical film, often mislabelled as a documentary, deals with gypsy culture throughout the world around the theme of their music and dance. For Vincent… read more
Born in Prag, Sasa Gedeon studies cinema at the Film Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). He directs several shorts before making his first feature film Indiánské léto (1995). In 1999, Gedeon gets international notice with Návrat idiota (1999), a loose adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic ’L’Idiot’. But the director does not seem to have been able to capitalize on this success since he has managed to make only a segment of Visions of Europe (2004) in a decade. —IMDb
Christos Georgiou was born in 1966 in England as son of Cyprian parents and grew up in Cyprus. He studied at the Leeds Metropolitan University and at the National Filmschool Lodz, Poland. Filmography (selected): Jal Uthna (1992); I vaftisi / The batism (1994); Under the Stars (2001). Awards: Best First Feature, 25th Montreal Int. Film Festival; Best Foreign Feature, 35th Houston Worldfest; Best First Feature & Critics Prize; Visions of Europe – My life on Tape (2004). —http://m-appeal-material.com
Constantine Giannaris (b. 1959, Athens) emigrated to the United Kingdom in 1976. He graduated from the University of Keele, and then continued studies at university in Birmingham before moving to London. He started his film career making short movies, including Trojans (1990; Best Short Film at the festivals in Cork and Turin), North of Vortex (1991; Best Short Film at Chicago) and Caught Looking (1991; Teddy Award in the Panorama section at the Berlinale). His first feature film, 3 Steps to Heaven (1995), was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight at the 1995 Cannes IFF. From the Edge of the City (Apo tin akri tis polis, 1998) followed and was awarded Best Director, Best Greek Drama and the Greek Film Critics’ Prize at the Thessaloniki IFF; it was also screened at numerous other festivals including Berlin. One Day in August (Dekapentavgoustos, 2001) was screened in competition at the festivals in Berlin, Chicago, Melbourne, Troy (where it took Best Screenplay) and Thessaloniki (honoured… read more
Few Europeans have deliberately riled up as much virulent and explosive controversy during their lifetimes as the muckraking Dutch director (and politically incendiary journalist) Theo van Gogh did during his all-too-brief 47 years; in the end, it led to van Gogh’s murder on an Amsterdam street at the hands of a Muslim extremist.
The great-grandson of an earlier Theo Van Gogh (the art-dealer brother of Vincent), the younger Theo was born in The Hague in 1957. He cultivated a raw passion for filmmaking during his youth — to such a degree that although he initially enrolled as a law student during the late ‘70s, the desire to direct motion pictures provoked his decision to drop completely out of law school and start shooting films. Van Gogh’s directorial tendencies were not limited to ambition; they extended equally into the realm of talent. This ability first became evident with van Gogh’s debut, the 1981 film noir variation Luger, which stars Thom Hoffman and the filmmaker himself… read more
An avant-gardist who earned surprising access to the mainstream, Peter Greenaway is among the most ambitious and controversial filmmakers of his era. Trained as a painter and heavily influenced by theories of structural linguistics, ethnography, and philosophy, Greenaway’s films traversed often unprecedented ground, consistently exploring the boundaries of the medium by rejecting formal narrative structures in favor of awe-striking imagery, shifting meanings, and mercurial emotional tension; fascinated by formal symmetries and parallels, his material displayed an almost obsessive interest in list-making and cataloguing, earning equal notoriety for its provocative eroticism as well as its almost self-conscious pretentiousness. Born April 5, 1942, in Newport, Wales, Greenaway was raised primarily in nearby Chingford. After deciding at the age of 12 to become a painter, he entered the Walthamstow College of Art. By 1965, Greenaway had begun working as a film editor for the Central Office… read more
He was born in Granada in 1942. Miguel Hermoso studied Law in the University of Granada where he obtains his degree and afterwards he entered in the Cinema Official School.
In his career, his mythic “Truhanes” (1984) and the last two shot in Andalucia, “Fugitivas” (1998) and “La luz prodigiosa” (2002) stand out. Recently he has performed for the first time his first theatre work, “Cuentos del burdel”. —turgranada.es
Ágnes Hranitzky, Béla Tarr’’s collaborator, editor, co-director and wife.
Arvo Iho (b. 1949, Rakvere, Estonia) is a director, cameraman and producer. He graduated in anthropology from Montana State University and as a cameraman from Moscow’s VGIK film school. He then began working behind the lens, and in the mid-eighties independently directed features and documentaries (many were awarded at international festivals). He has also spent time as a photographer and teacher. “Making this film fulfilled a dream. But I’ve never made anything so terribly difficult before. After endless negotiations I was finally granted permission to shoot in the northern Urals. They are one of the last truly untouched places in Europe,” the director says. Filmography (selected): The Birdwatcher (1986), The Songs of Milarepa (l988), The Chronicle of Sireniki (l99O), Sister of Mercy (l99l), Children of the Russian Empire (l992), Winter in Lapland (l996). —KVIFF
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers, and together have been responsible for one-fifth of the total output of the Finnish film industry since the early 1980s, though Aki’s work has found more favour abroad. His films are very short (he says a film should never run longer than 90 minutes, and many of his films are nearer 70), eccentric parodies of various genres (road movies, film noir, rock musicals), populated by lugubrious hard-drinking Finns and set to eclectic soundtracks, typically based around ‘50s rock’n’roll.
In the 1990s he has made films in Britain (I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)) and France (La vie de bohème (1992)). —IMDb
Damjan Kozole (born in 1964 in Brezice, Slovenia, then Yugoslavia) is one of the most recognized Slovenian filmmakers. He is a self made man who never attended film school. In his films, “some of the most raffish, funky and even sordid characters discover their own humanity” (Alissa Simon, Variety). Sight & Sound ranked his Spare Parts among ten most important films of the New Europe. In 2005, a Damjan Kozole film retrospective took place in the United States and Canada, hosted by the American Film Institute.
Spare Parts (Rezervni deli)
His 2003 feature film Spare Parts tells a story of two human traffickers from a small town in Slovenia who transport illegal migrants from Croatia on to the Western Europe, for a hefty fee. The film was premiered in the Competition Programme at Berlinale 2003 and following that at more than fifty international film festivals, where it won many international awards. It was released theatrically in more than 20 countries. According to… read more
Latvian Laila Pakalnina (born in 1962) has made an impressive career in film. She studied at the Moscow Film Institute and the Moscow University and has made three full length films, The Shoe (1998), The Python (2003) and The Hostage (2006).
Pakalnina has directed and written several short films and documentaries, which have been showcased at the Cannes and Venice film festivals, among others. Pakalnina’s compelling films are stunning to watch as they are so visual and colourful. Her strories are often carried on with gentle irony and strong symbolism.
Kenneth was born in 1975. After graduating from the University of Malta in 1977, he started directing TV films and commercials. His first feature, Genesis (2001), was also the first full-length film production ever made in his country. —São Paulo International Film Festival
Director and scriptwriter Martin Šulík (b. 1962, Žilina, Slovakia) graduated in film and television direction from VŠMU (1986). He is Slovakia’s most appreciated and prolific film director of the past 20 years. In 1986-91 he worked as assistant director, occasionally directed for the theatre, acted in movies, and shot documentaries. Since the early 1990s he has mainly focused on features, distinguishing himself for his poetic-symbolic tone. —scanorama.lt
Małgorzata Szumowska (born 26 February 1973 in Cracow, Poland) – is a Polish director, screenwriter and producer. Szumowska is the daughter of journalists Maciej Szumowski and Dorota Terakowska and the sister of Wojciech Szumowski, a documentary film director.
Szumowska spent two years studying History of Art at Jagiellonian University before she started film studies. Szumowska graduated from the celebrated film college in Łódź, which boasts such alumni as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański or Krzysztof Kieślowski. As a student, Szumowska made a short which was ranked 14th in the history of Łódź Film School Cisza (Silence) is a short documentary film in which Szumowska tried to capture a simple life of a Polish rural family.
Szczęśliwy człowiek (Happy man)
Szumowska graduated from the film college in 1998 and made her debut feature film Szczęśliwy człowiek (Happy Man) in 2001. The film was nominated to The European Film Award and Szumowska became a member… read more
Born in 1955, Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr began making amateur films at the age of 16, later working as caretaker at a national House for Culture and Recreation. His amateur work brought him to the attention of the Bela Balazs Studios (named in honor of the Hungarian cinema theorist), which helped fund Tarr’s 1979 feature debut Family Nest, a work of socialist realism clearly influenced by the work of John Cassavettes. The 1981 piece The Outsider and the following year’s The Prefab People continued in much the same vein, but with a 1982 television adaptation of Macbeth, his work began to change dramatically; comprised of only two shots, the first shot (before the main title) was five minutes long, with the second 67 minutes in length. Not only did Tarr’s visual sensibility move from raw close-ups to more abstract mediums and long shots, but also his philosophical sensibility shifted from grim realism to a more metaphysical outlook similar to that of Andrei Tarkovsky. After 1984’s… read more
Troell writes his own scripts and serves as his own director of photography. His realistic films with a lyrical photography in which nature is prominent have placed him in the first rank of modern Swedish film directors along with Ingmar Bergman and Bo Widerberg, the former considered best of the three.
Troell was born in Limhamn outside Malmö, Sweden. For several years, he worked as an elementary-school teacher but started to make shorts films in the sixties. He became director of photography for Widerberg but soon made a debut with his own first feature, Here’s Your Life (Här har du ditt liv, 1966), about a working class boy in Sweden, set in the beginning of the 20th century. The film was based upon an autobiographical novel by Eyvind Johnson. His next film Who Saw Him Die? (Ole dole doff, 1968) won the Golden Bear award at the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.
Troell’s major work in the 1970s became The Emigrants (Utvandrarna, 1971) and its sequel The New Land… read more
Born in Lisbon in 1966, Teresa Villaverde is one of the leading directors of the young generation of Portuguese cinema of the 90s. Her first film, Idade Maior, received its world premiere at the International Forum of Young Cinema at the 1989 Berlin Film Festival and won prizes in other major festivals. Three years later, Maria de Medeiros won the Best Actress Prize at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Tres Irmaos. The screening of Os Mutantes in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival brought her work greater international recognition. The film was a critical and commercial success in Portugal. Agua e sal, her next film, was shown at the Venice Film Festival. Since her last film, Villaverde has made a documentary, A Favor da claridade, and a short, Cold Wa(te)r, for the Visions of Europe project coordinated by Zentropa. Transe is her fifth film. —quinzaine-realisateurs.com
Aisling Walsh (born 1958) is an Irish writer and director.
She was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1958 to Raphael Walsh, a furniture designer and manufacturer from Navan, County Meath. Walsh studied at the Dún Laoghaire School of Art and Design and at The National Film School in Beaconsfield, England.
Walsh wrote and directed Song for a Raggy Boy, which won numerous awards at international film festivals, including the Best Film award at the Copenhagen International Film Festival in 2003. She also wrote and directed Joyriders (1989), Damage (2008), Invisible State (2006) and The Daisy Chain.
Her many television credits include the BAFTA TV Award-nominated Fingersmith, Forgive and Forget, Roughnecks and the multi award winning BBC One film Sinners. In 2009, she directed The Fifth Woman, a feature-length episode of the BBC series Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. —Wikipedia
Atrayente por los directores de renombre con los que cuenta el proyecto, esta compilación de cortometrajes en torno a las visiones de Europa deja mucho que desear, por ahi destacan los trabajos de Miguel Hermoso y Andy Baush sinembargo el que mejor concreta con una analogia de la unión europea es Peter Greenaway sin duda el trabajo mejor logrado de esta compilación.