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Directors

Sharing our filmmakers’ passion, we also wanted to share their thoughts and influences, to see into their world and better understand their work. With this notebook, explore their favorite places with them and learn more about their influences.

Directors
Reetta Aalto
Levan Akin
Lionel Baier
Jean-Stéphane Bron
Alice Diop
Camille Ducellier
Zeina Durra
Alli Haapasalo
Ulla Heikkilä
Juho Kuosmanen
Ursula Meier
Frédéric Mermoud
Inari Niemi
Anna Paavilainen
Michaela Pavlatova
Shirel Peleg
Sofía Quirós Ubeda
Kirsikka Saari
Aino Suni
Miia Tervo
Samuel Theis
Elli Toivoniemi
Jenni Toivoniemi
Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh
C.B.Yi
Countries
Argentina
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Egypt
England
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Israel
Slovakia
Sweden

Reetta Aalto

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

Little Snow Animal by Miia Tervo

Golden Age by Maija Blåfield

Two Bodies On A Beach by Anna Paavilainen

Elsa by Marja Pensala

No Time For Toes by Kari Pieskä

Art :

Milja Sarkola (theatre director)

Aino Venna (musician)

Paavo Halonen (artist and designer)

Places :

The Kumpula outdoor swimming pool

The Frida Marina vintage store

A woodburning sauna by a lake anywhere in Finland

Food :

Homemade Carelian pies

Moose stew

Fried vendace

Levan Akin

Levan Akin is a Swedish born filmmaker and his work often plays on class and gender. He most recently directed THE CIRCLE (2015 world premiere at the Berlin film festival) based on the bestselling YA book. He has also directed the feature film CERTAIN PEOPLE which received its international premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews. He has also directed several TV- series for SVT Drama most notably REAL HUMANS. Currently Levan Akin is writing and directing a new TV-series for SVT titled DOUGH set to premiere in the spring of 2021.

And Then We Danced (2019) - The Circle (2015) - Certain People (2012)
Countries

Sweden

Georgia

Films influences :

A Streetcar Named Desire by Elia Kazan

Dolores Claiborne by Taylor Hackford

Yol by Yilmaz Guney

Aliens by James Cameron

The Color of Pomegranates by Sergei Paradjanov

Country :

SWEDEN

Art :

Robyn (musician)

Karin Dreijer (musician)

Astrid Lindgren (writer)

Places :

Papercut (best selection of films, magazines and books)

Nitty Gritty (next door to Papercut, perfectly curated clothes shop)

Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern art in Stockholm)

Food :

Vegan Burger at Lily’s Burger

Falafel at Falafelbaren

Vietnamese at Minh Mat

Country :

GEORGIA

Art :

Nana Ekvtimishvili (director of excellent film ”My Happy Family”) together with Simon Gross

Sergei Paradjanov (legendary director)

Niko Pirosmanishvili (painter)

Places :

Untitled Gallery Tbilisi (great spot for contemporary photography)

Success (best place to dance to pop music in Tbilisi)

Dry Bridge Market (flea market in the center of Tbilisi, great finds to be made)

Food :

Dishes from the Kakheti region at Kakhelebi in Lilo (the tastiest food in Tbilisi)

Stamba Restaurant (love the atmosphere and food, great drinks too)

Korean Food at Pepperboy (One of the best places to eat Korean food outside of Korea)

Lionel Baier

Born in Lausanne in 1975 in a Swiss family of Polish origins, Lionel Baier programs et co-manages the Rex Cinema of Aubonne since 1992, before studing humanities at the University of Lausanne (1995-1999). Following the documentary THE PASTOR's and THE PARADE (OUR HISTORY), he directs his first feature film in 2004, STUPID BOY. His next films are Stealth– first episode of a tetralogy that continues with LONGWAVE, then ANOTHER MANOR VANITY in a filmography of fictions and documentaries in several formats. Director of the Film department at the ECAL (Art school of Lausanne) since 2002, he co-founds Bande à part Films in 2009 and is the vice-president the Swiss Cinemathèque’s board of administration. Lionel also produced the four films of SHOCK WAVES, and THE VENERABLE W. (directed by Barbet Schroeder), presented in Cannes in 2017.

Shock Waves - First Name : Mathieu (2018) - Vanity (2015) - Longwave (2013) - Bon Vent Claude Goretta (2011) - Toulouse (2011) - Low Cost (Claude Jutra) (2010) - Un Autre Homme (2008) - Comme Des Voleurs (2006) - Stupid Boy (2004) - The Parade (Our History) (2002) - The Pastor (2000)

Jean-Stéphane Bron

Born in Lausanne in 1969, Jean-Stéphane Bron is a documentarian. His movies received several distinctions in Europe and in the US, like KNOWN TO OUR DEPARTMENTS (1997), about a scandal of files compiled by Swiss Federal Police. CORN IN PARLIAMENT (2003), one of the biggest success of Swiss film, or THE BLOCHER EXPERIENCE, portrait of the right-wing populist leader Christophe Blocher, which stirred up controversy. WITH CLEVELAND VERSUS WALL STREET (2010), about the subprimes crisis, which is presented in Cannes and nominated for a Cesar, he gains international recognition and receives for the second time the Quartz of Best documentary at the Swiss Film Award. His last movie, THE PARIS OPERA (2017), about Paris Opera’s backstage, is widely distributed around the world.

Shock Waves : The Valley (2018) - The Paris Opera (2017) - The Blocher Experience (2013) - Cleveland Versus Wall Street (2010) - My Brother Is Getting Married (2006) - Corn in Parliament (2003) - The Way I Look at You (1999) - Known to Our Departments (1997)

Alice Diop

Nous (2020) - Océan (2019) - Vers La Tendresse (2016) - La Permanence (2016) - La Mort De Danton (2011) - Les Sénégalaises et La Sénégauloise (2007) - La Tour Du Monde (2006) - Clichy Pour l'Exemple (2006)
Countries

France

Camille Ducellier

Writer, director and artist Camille Ducellier works on a hybrid art between art and cinema. Feminist queer, she knows very well the gender issues. She studied them through her friends but also on an academic level. The form of her artwork can vary – documentary, interactive art, sound installation – but the spell remains the same : dreaming the dark, unveiling the body, binding the spiritual and the political.

Gender Derby (2018)

Zeina Durra

Zeina Durra received her BA in Oriental Studies from Oxford University and MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film Programme. Her directorial debut, The Imperialists Are Still Alive! premiered in US Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2010. British born of Bosnian-Palestinian-Jordanian-Lebanese descent, Zeina spent over a decade living in New York, and after making her first film, she took some time off to have a family. She is now back having just shot her next feature, Luxor, staring Andrea Riseborough which will premiere in World Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2020. Zeina is now based out of London, and is currently developing various film projects.

Luxor (2020) - The Imperialists Are Still Alive! (2010)
Countries

England

Egypt

Films influences :

The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni

Don’t Look Now by Nicholas Rogue

Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown by Pedro Almodóvar

The Rules of The Game by Jean Renoir

Cria Cuervos by Carlos Saura

Art :

Zarina Hashimi

Valie Export

Hannah Wilke

Ana Mendieta

Fred Sandback

Sophie Calle

Etel Adnan

Country :

ENGLAND

Places :

Sir John Soane’s Museum 

Portobello Market on a Friday Morning

London Review of Books Bookshop 

Food :

Orasay

Malabar

The Wolesely 

Country :

EGYPT

Places :

The Winter Palace Hotel Bar

The Luxor Temple 

Hanging out on the West Bank of the Nile 

Food :

The Marsam Hotel Restaurant 

The Sofra Restaurant 

The Al Moudira Hotel 

Alli Haapasalo

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

A Separation by Asghar Farhadi

Amour by Michael Haneke

Spotlight by Thomas McCarthy

Call Me By Your Name by Luca Guadagnino

BPM (Beat Per Minute) by Robin Campillo

Art :

Alice Neel (painter)

Kaija Saariaho (composer)

Anja Niemi (photographer)

Places :

The Yrjönkatu swimming pool

Theaters in Helsinki

The Seaside

Food :

Daddy Greens Pizzabar

Baskeri & Basso

Minibar

Ulla Heikkilä

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

Miami by Zaida Bergroth

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants by Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää

Gods of Molenbeek by Reetta Huhtanen

Flame Top by Pirjo Honkasalo and Pekka Lehto

Inspector Palmu’s Error by Matti Kassila

Art :

Edith Södergran (poet)

Anna Estarriola (video artist)

IBE (rap/R ‘n B artist)

Places :

The Yrjönkatu swimming hall

The Sara Hildén Art Museum

The Astuvansalmi rock paintings in Mikkeli at lake Saimaa

Food :

Way

Lasipalatsi

Silvoplee

Juho Kuosmanen

Juho Kuosmanen (b. 1979) is Helsinki based filmmaker. He graduated from ELO Heslinki Film School of Aalto University in 2014. His first two films have won a prize in Cannes Film Festival. THE PAINTED SELLERS (2010) won the 1st prize in Cannes Cinefondation and The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016) won The Prix un Certain Regard. Besides making award-winning films, he has directed avant-garde opera and theater. He also makes silent short films with live music and foleys. He is the co-founder and artistic director of a small film festival in his birth town Kokkola.

Compartment n°6 (2021) - The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (2016) - The Painting Sellers (2010)
Countries

Finland

Ursula Meier

Swiss and French, Ursula Meier studied filmmaking in Belgium. Her short films’ and documentaries’ successes allowed her to get worldwide recognition. She was chosen to be part of Arte’s collection of TV movies MASCULIN/FEMININ and directed in 2002 STRONG SHOULDERS which was met with great acclaim. In 2008, her movie HOME has been premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Critics' Week and received several awards and distinctions, including three Césars’ nominations. SISTER received a Silver Bear-Special Award at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival, was nominated for the Independant Spirit Awards and Kacey Mottet Klein for Best Male Newcomer’s César. This film, as HOME, was rewarded of three Quartz at the Swiss Film Awards and represented Switzerland for the Oscar race. In 2014, she takes part of the omnibus film BRIDGES OF SARAJEVO presented in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival.

Shock Waves : Diary Of My Mind (2018) - Bridges of Sarajevo (2014) - Sister (2012) - Home (2008) - About Pinget (2004) - To the Lost Body (1994)

Frédéric Mermoud

Born in 1969 in Sion, Frédéric Mermoud directed noted short films like THE STAIRCASE, awarded Best short film at the Swiss Film Award, and RACHEL nominated for a Cesar. In 2009, his first feature film, THE COMPLICE, is presented in Locarno Film Festival and receives Best Script at the Swiss Film Award. In 2012, he directs four episodes (5-8) of Canal+ series THE RETURNED, awarded of an International Emmy Award. He gets back to swiss cinema by directing MOKA (2016) with Emmanuelle Devos and Nathalie Baye, which has a big critical an commercial success. He focuses then on thriller and directs six episodes of the Canal+ SPIRAL series. He also directed the writing and production of around 40 ECAL (Art school of Lausanne) students.

Shock Waves - Sirius (2018) - Moka (2016) - The Complice (2009)

Inari Niemi

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine

The Graduate by Mike Nichols

Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola

Rust And Bone by Jacques Audiard

The Squid And The Whale by Noah Baumbach

Art :

Juergen Teller (photographer)

Vilja-Tuulia Huotarinen (writer)

90’s triphop

Places :

Where ever my family is

Our summer cottage in a small island in Southern Finland

Bed

Food :

The Ateljé Finne restaurant

Potato (A root vegetable)

Cooking without a recipe while drinking beer or wine (a thing I do)

Anna Paavilainen

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

The Collector by  Auli Mantila

Void by Aleksi Salmenperä

Fire-Eater by Pirjo Honkasalo

The Match Factory Girl by Aki Kaurismäki

Gods of Molenbeek by Reetta Huhtanen

Art :

Saara Turunen (writer)

Liv Strömquist (writer)

Marianna Henriksson (singer)

Places :

The Oodi Helsinki Central Library

The public sauna Kulttuurisauna

The vintage store Hoochie Mama Jane

Food :

Hakaniemi Market Hall

The Meiccu restaurant

The Harju 8 restaurant

Michaela Pavlatova

Michaela Pavlátová is an animation director from the Czech Republic. Her films have received numerous awards at international film festivals, including an Oscar nomination for WORDS, WORDS, WORDS (Reci, reci, reci). FILM REPETE has also won a series of awards including the Grand Prix at the International Animation Festival Hiroshima and Golden Bear in Berlin. Her last film TRAM premiered in the Director's Fortnight in Cannes and won Annecy Cristal in 2012. Since 2016 she is the head of the Animation Department at FAMU, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

My Sunny Maad (2021) - Night Owls (2008) - Faithless Games (2003) - Prague Stories (1999)
Countries

Czech Republic

Slovakia

France

Shirel Peleg

Shirel Peleg was born in 1985 in Venezuela and raised in Israel. She was graduated in 2010 with a BFA in film and television from the Sapir College and majored in production and directing. After her graduation, she worked as a newsdesk producer at the Israeli news company Channel 2 and for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. In 2012, Shirel immigrated with her partner to Germany where she learned the language in no time to enroll at the screenwriting program at the renowned Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Her latest directing work WE’RE BACK AGAIN has been selected for German Film’s talent showcase and THE NEXT GENERATION SHORT TIGER was presented during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Kiss Me Before It Blows Up (2019)
Countries

Israel

Germany

Films :

It Happened One night by Frank Capra

To Be or Not To Be by Ernst Lubitsch

The Apartment by Billy Wilder

Angst Essen Seele Auf by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fried Green Tomatoes by Jon Avnet

Country :

Israel

Art :

Chava Alberstein (singer)

Hanoch Levin (theatre director)

Rona Kenen (singer)

Places :

The bookstore the Migdalor (Hebrew for lighthouse)

Stretch of coast beginning after the beach called Michmoret (Hebrew for fishing net), the sunsets are just beyond description

Country :

Germany

Art :

Hannah Höch (artist)

Lotte Laserstein (artist)

Ulla Meinecke (singer)

Places :

C/O Berlin, a fairly small gallery that manages to innovate and vary time and again

Movimento (Germany’s oldest cinema)

I am very much in love with neighborhood where I live in Berlin Neukölln

Food :

Sparkling Water with Strawberry Syrup (my favorite childhood drink)

Freshly Bakes Burrekas at Bata and Grega

Sofía Quirós Ubeda

Sofía was born in 1989 and studied Sound and Image Design at the University of Buenos Aires. Since her first short films, Sofía has focused on working with non-actors and actresses, creating films that explore their characters intimate worlds with a poetic vision that highlights atmosphere and emotion. In 2016, her short film SELVA premiered at La Semaine de la Critique of the Cannes Film Festival 2017. Since then, it went to screen in more than 40 cities around the world gathering awards like the TV5 Prize in Biarritz and the ‘Women in Film and TV Award’ given by the Guanajuato IFF. Her first feature film CENIZA NEGRA (LAND OF ASHES) was filmed in the Costa Rican and explores topics such as mourning and the end of childhood. Its premiere will be held at the 58th Semaine de la Critique in 2019.

Land Of Ashes (2019) - Selva (2017)
Countries

Costa Rica

Argentina

Films influences :

Amour by Michael Haneke

Medea by Alexandra Latishev

El Sonido De Las Cosas by Ariel Escalante

Lazzaro Felice by Alice Rohrwacher

Sans Soleil by Chris Marker

El Silencio Es Un Cuerpo Que Cae by Agustina Comedi

Cavalo Dinheiro by Pedro Costa

La ciénaga by Lucrecia Martel

Jauja by Lisandro Alonso

Summer 1993 by Carla Simón

Country:

COSTA RICA

Art :

Walter Ferguson

Chavela Vargas

Places :

Manzanillo Beach

Food :

Juice of Cas Carambola o Guanabana

Rice n Beans at Soda Riquísimo Limón

Tortillas with cheese at Fraijanes

Country :

ARGENTINA

Art :

Mercedes Sosa

Places :

Libreria Atene

Malba Museum

Food :

Provoleta (grilled cheese) at Mirasol

Kirsikka Saari

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

American Honey by Andrea Arnold

Secrets and Lies by Mike Leigh

A Prophet by Jacques Audiard

Involuntary by Ruben Östlund

L’Enfant by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Art :

Svetlana Alexievich (writer)

Elizabeth Strout (writer)

Monica Fagerholm (writer)

Places :

The Ateneum Museum

The Galerie Anhava

The Whitney Museum in New-York

Food :

Finnish rye bread

Smoked salmon

Blinis (russian pancakes)

Aino Suni

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

The Night by Michelangelo Antonioni

The Lovers on the Bridge by Leos Carax

Virgin Suicides by Sofia Coppola

Holiday by Isabella Eklöf

Enter the Void by Gaspar Noé

Art :

Saara Turunen (writer and theatre director)

Yeboyah (feminist rapper)

Kalervo Palsa (artist)

Places :

The Kiasma museum

HAM museum

The Oodi Helsinki Central Library

Food :

Tuk Tuk restaurant

REDI

Fabrik

Miia Tervo

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

Orlando by Sally Potter

Tony Erdmann by Maren Ade

Moonlight by Barry Jenkins

Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky

Lady Bird by Greta Gerwig

Art :

Wurthering Hights by Kate Bush

Reidar Särestöniemi (painter)

Reidar Särestöniemi’s paintings ie ” Red lynx in the moonlight ”

Don´t hurt yourself and the whole Formation album + Homecoming by Beyoncé

Places :

Home

Karelian forests and lakes

The Oodi Helsinki Central Library

Food :

Sautéed reindeer with smashed potatoes and lingonberries

(Self picked) cranberries with fudge

Fresh fish with spinach and garlic

Samuel Theis

Petite Nature (2020) - Party Girl (2014)
Countries

France

Elli Toivoniemi

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade

The Reunion by Anna Odell

Her by Spike Jonze

Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach

Sami Blood by Amanda Kernell

Art :

Sia (singer)

Ellen Thesleff (painter)

Tove Jansson (writer, painter, poet, comic strip author)

Places :

Savonlinna International Nature Film Festival

Keskuspuisto (central park)

Lammassaari (an island in Helsinki)

Food :

The smoothie bar Jungle Juice

No 5 Coffee

Baskeri & Basso

Jenni Toivoniemi

Force Of Habit (2020)
Countries

Finland

Films influences :

Three Rooms of Melancholy by Pirjo Honkasalo

Shadows in Paradise by Aki Kaurismäki

The Good Son by Zaida Bergroth

The Snow Queen by Päivi Hartzell

The Collector by Auli Mantila

Art :

Our Earthly Life by Riikka Pelo (novel)

Garden of Death by Hugo Simberg (painting)

Vesala (Finnish pop icon)

Places :

The Sculpture park in Koitsanlahti

The Kaivopuisto park

The Hotel Torni’s Ateljee Bar

Food :

Corona and Moskova Bar

Hakaniementori in the summer

Skörd

Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh

Gagarine (2020)
Countries

France

C.B.Yi

Chen Bo was born in the People's Republic of China. He studied Sinology at the University of Vienna, Directing at the Vienna Film Academy - Michael Haneke, University of Music and Performing Arts, Photography at the Film Academy Vienna - Christian Berger, University of Music and Performing Arts and at the Beijing Film Academy (foreign year 2003-2004).

Moneyboys (2020) - Emei, Viewed From A Galloping Horse (2008)