Arie and Chuko Esiri were born 30 minutes apart in Warri, Nigeria. Growing up in Lagos their mother would put a padlock on the TV in a misguided attempt to make them more studious. Twenty years later both would enrol at film school. Arie graduated from Columbia University, and Chuko completed his studies at NYU. During their time in New York they collaborated on a pair of short films: Besida (2018), which premiered at the 68th Berlinale, and Goose (2017), which had its premiere at the LA Film Festival. This Is My Desire is their first feature film.
Cenk Ertürk received a degree in Economics at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul before pursuing his passion for filmmaking. After a string of short films, including Posthumous (2011), Zeitgeist (2016), and Sparrows (2016), his pursuit took him to New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts for an MFA degree. He wrote the script for Noah Land as part of his thesis at the Tisch School. His most recent short film, Shall No One Hold My Hand! (2018), which was a character study for Noah Land, was selected for the 2018 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Noah Land is his first feature as a writer and director.
Born in 1980 in Southern Jutland, Denmark, Frelle Petersen is a filmmaker who explores human behaviour and family relations. Ever since he was a teenager, Frelle knew he wanted to be a director, and he experimented from an early age with his father’s small camcorder. In his award-winning shorts Going Nowhere (2010), As You Were (2011), and Mommy (2012) his interest in family and human interaction became apparent. Uncle (2019)—where Frelle serves as writer, director, cinematographer, and editor—is his second feature film, after the critically acclaimed Where Have all the Good Men Gone? (2016).
Hong Sangsoo was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1960. After studying at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, he continued his education at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Art Institute of Chicago. Beginning with The Day a Pig Fell into the Well in 1996, he has written and directed two dozen films, including The Power of Kangwon Province (1998), Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (2000), Turning Gate (2002), Woman Is the Future of Man (2004), Woman on the Beach (2006), Hahaha (2010), In Another Country (2012), Right Now, Wrong Then (2015), On the Beach at Night Alone (2017), Claire’s Camera (2017), and Hotel by the River (2019), among others. The Woman Who Ran is his 24th feature in 24 years.
The Slovak director Ivan Ostrochovský, born in 1972 in Zilina, directed his first feature documentary Velvet Terrorists in 2013. It premiered at the Berlinale in 2014, where it won the Tagesspiegel Readers’ Award. Ivan’s feature debut Koza celebrated its world premiere at the Berlinale in 2015. It was shortlisted for the 2015 European Film Awards and was the Slovak Oscar Entry for 2016. Servants was presented in a World Premiere at the new Berlinale competition section ‘Encounters’ in February 2020. He is also a co-owner and producer at sentimentalfilm and Punkchart Films.
Martin Koolhoven’s Choice
Martin shares his passion for film with a general audience. He walks us through the films that were important to him and why these films were (and are!) so important in film history. He explains how some scenes made such an impression on him, and he puts himself in the role of the director: why did the director choose this approach and how does it affect our experience of the film? What was the purpose of the film? Have the directors achieved their goals with their choices…?
Martin deelt zijn passie voor film met een breed publiek. Hij bespreekt de films die impact op hem hebben gehad en vertelt waarom ze belangrijk waren (en zijn!) voor de filmgeschiedenis. Hij legt uit hoeveel indruk sommige scènes op hem hebben gemaakt en verplaatst zich in de regisseur: waarom heeft de regisseur voor deze aanpak gekozen en hoe beïnvloedt dit de manier waarop we de film ervaren? Wat was het doel van de film? Hebben de regisseurs met hun keuzes hun doelen bereikt?
Maya Da-Rin is a filmmaker and visual artist. She received her bachelor’s degree from Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains in France, holds a master’s degree in Cinema and Art History from Sorbonne Nouvelle, and has participated in film workshops at the Cuban School of Cinema. Her work has been shown in film festivals and art institutions throughout the world, including Toronto, DokLeipzig, MoMA and the Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre. Her 2010 documentary Terras (Lands) was shown at more than 40 film festivals, and her first fiction feature project, A Febre (The Fever) premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in 2019, where it received the Best Actor Pardo, the FIPRESCI Prize for best film, and the ‘Environment Is Quality of Life’ prize.
An award-winning Russian screenwriter, director, and author of numerous TV series and successful feature films, Natalya Nazarova made her feature directorial debut in 2012 with The Daughter. It went on to win the FIPRESCI (International Critics) awards at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the Warsaw International Film Festival, and the best debut award at the Kinotavr festival. It was also selected for the Honfleur, Cottbus, Gothenburg, Palm Springs, San Francisco, and Brussels festivals, as well as many others. She contributed a section to the omnibus film Petersburg: A Selfie (2016), directed the short film Firefly (2016) and co-directed the feature Love Triangle (2019).
Born in Mollet del Vallès (Barcelona) in 1980, Neus Ballús studied filmmaking and Creative Documentary at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). Her first feature-length film, La plaga (2013), premiered at the 63rd Berlinale Forum, was nominated for the European Film Awards (“European Discovery”), the LUX Prize Awards, the Goya Prizes, and has received more than 20 international prizes, including 4 Premis Gaudí and the prestigious and historical 57th Premi Sant Jordi to the Best Spanish First Film. Strongly interested in the boundaries between documentary and fiction filmmaking, she has specialised in scriptwriting, editing, and working with nonprofessional actors. Staff Only is her first fiction feature.
Martin Koolhoven – Think Big!
With Brimstone, Martin Koolhoven succeeded in making a Western of Hollywood proportions. Boasting a budget of almost €15 million and featuring such stars as Guy Pearce, Kit Harrington, Dakota Fanning, and our own Carice van Houten, one has to ask, ‘How did Koolhoven achieve this?’ Martin will tell you how to deal with intrusive producers, vain actors, obscure broadcasters, rigid funds, and financiers who do not keep to agreements. And about how sweet it tastes when the film that nobody seemed to want turns out to be a success. Martin also explains how he managed to realise this mega production: what choices and mistakes he made, and, most importantly, what lessons he learned.
Met Brimstone is Martin Koolhoven erin geslaagd een Western van Hollywood proporties te maken. Met een budget van bijna €15 miljoen en sterren als Guy Pearce, Kit Harrington, Dakota Fanning en onze eigen Carice van Houten rijst de vraag: Hoe heeft hij dit voor elkaar gekregen? Martin legt uit hoe je moet omgaan met bemoeizuchtige producenten, ijdele acteurs, obscure omroepen, strakke budgetten en financiers die zich niet aan afspraken houden. En vertelt over de zoete smaak van de overwinning wanneer een film die niemand leek te willen een succes wordt. Daarnaast legt Martin uit hoe hij erin is geslaagd om deze productie te maken: welke keuzes en fouten heeft hij gemaakt, en – nog belangrijker – welke lessen heeft hij geleerd.