Magazine article Screen International

Sydney Film Festival Picks 10 Female Directors to Watch in 2018

Magazine article Screen International

Sydney Film Festival Picks 10 Female Directors to Watch in 2018

Article excerpt

Screen profiles the filmmakers selected for the Europe! Voices of Women in Film programme.

Fanni Metellus, Emily Atef, Jagoda Szelc

It has been three years since Sydney Film Festival in co-operation with European Film Promotion (EFP) first dedicated part of its programme to emerging female directors from Europe, and much has changed in that short time. Courtesy of #MeToo, the filmmaking gender gap has been further thrust into the spotlight in a significant and much-needed manner - an issue the festival’s showcase was specifically designed to address.

A hit across its first two outings, Europe! Voices of Women in Film returns to offer a “platform for talented European women filmmakers to share their work and perspectives”, says festival director Nashen Moodley. Presented in conjunction with Screen International and EFP from June 6-17, 10 directors will screen their latest films, with eight filmmakers attending the festival to discuss the challenges facing women in the film industry, the journey towards inclusivity and parity, and the current state of gender diversity.

Emily Atef - 3 Days In Quiberon

Emily Atef had originally intended to become an actor, but “always enjoyed telling stories”, she explains. After studying in Paris, she “felt the urge to tell my own stories inspired by what I saw around me, instead of acting in other people’s.”

Following a stint in theatre in London, Atef attended the German Film and Television Academy. She won a screenwriting award at Munich Film Festival for her 2005 debut Molly’s Way, while 2008’s The Stranger In Me premiered in Critics’ Week at Cannes. After 2012’s Kill Me, Atef made two TV films before exploring the latter days of actress Romy Schneider’s life in Berlinale Competition entry 3 Days In Quiberon. The film won seven prizes at the German Film Awards including outstanding feature film and best direction.

Isabella Eklöf - Holiday

While Holiday marks Isabella Eklöf’s feature debut, she worked as a location assistant on Let The Right One In and co-wrote the screenplay for this year’s Cannes Un Certain Regard prize-winner Border. Her CV includes 11 short films, all made during her studies. She completed a two-year video course in Skurup, a degree from the University of Gothenburg’s school of film directing and an art degree from the National Film School of Denmark. During the latter period of education, Eklöf made the 30-minute short Notes From Underground, which won Denmark’s Bisballeprisen art prize. It then took five years to make Holiday, which debuted in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition in January. Those five years were spent “perfecting the script, meticulously planning the visuals, casting and casting again”, says Eklöf.

Nanouk Leopold - Cobain

Nanouk Leopold came to filmmaking via art school, where she enjoyed working across various forms. “It hit me that film is a very natural combination of different things, like light, space, rhythm, language, structure and choreography,” she says. Attending Rotterdam’s Willem de Kooning Academy, then the Netherlands Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam, she won a Netherlands Film Festival award for her graduation short Weekend, which led to TV movie Max Lupa followed by her first feature, Iles Flottantes, in 2001. …

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