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Jean-Pierre Dardenne was born in 1951 in Liège, Belgium. In 1975, Jean-Pierre and his brother Luc founded the company 'Derives', which has since produced some 60 films, including their own. Their main aesthetic combines a naturalist, unadorned style, featuring distilled narratives shot with hand-held, almost documentary-like cinematography. They have won the Cannes Palme d'Or twice, for 'Rosetta' (1999) and 'The Child' (2005).
Luc Dardenne was born in Liège, Belgium in 1954. In 1975, Luc and his brother Jean-Pierre founded the company 'Derives', which has since produced some 60 films, including their own. Their main aesthetic combines a naturalist, unadorned style, featuring distilled narratives shot with hand-held, almost documentary-like cinematography. They have won the Cannes Palme d'Or twice, for 'Rosetta' (1999) and 'The Child' (2005).
His deeply personal trilogy (1976-83) established Terence Davies' reputation, but it was his two autobiographical features 'Distant Voices, Still Lives' (1988) and 'The Long Day Closes' (1992) that cemented his position as one of contemporary British cinema's finest filmmakers. They were stark accounts of domestic violence and sexual repression, but also generous portraits of the camaraderie of British working class life. He followed it with a visually sumptuous but uneven adaptation of John Kennedy Toole's 'The Neon Bible' and a near-perfect exploration of wealth and privilege with 'The House of Mirth' (2000). Highlighting his brilliance with actors, Davies' adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel is richly detailed, its visual palette ranging from Whistler to Vermeer. A long hiatus followed, then a period of prolific activity, beginning with the anguished paean to Liverpool 'Of Time and the City' (2008). Two literary adaptation followed, with Terence Rattigan's 'The Deep Blue Sea' (2011) featuring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston, and 'Sunset Song' (2015), an adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's 1930s-set Scottish drama. That was followed by 'A Quiet Passion' (2016), Davies portrait of American poet Emily Dickinson. The filmmaker is currently working on a drama about Siegfried Sassoon, to be released around the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.
Bavo Defurne, born in 1971 in Ghent, is a Belgian filmmaker known for his rich and powerful narratives surrounding gay love and loss. His films deal with themes of the body and the power of nature and silence. 'Kampvuur' won the Film Four Short Film Prize at the BFI London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 2000. The award-winning 'Northsea, Texas' (2011) was his first feature film.
Claire Denis was born in Paris, but raised in Africa. Her films focus on the paradoxes of human interaction and the complexity of the individual's relationship with society. Denis' work has been hailed for its subtlety and power, as well as its stunning technical proficiency. She is one of the most important French filmmakers of her generation and is one of the most critically acclaimed female directors of all time.
Arnaud Desplechin was born in 1960 in Roubaix, France. In 1984, he graduated with a degree in cinematography from the IDHEC film school in Paris. His first few films were screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and were critically successful. His 2013 film 'Jimmy Picard' was nominated for the 2013 Palme D'or.
Born in Montreal in 1989, Xavier Dolan started his career as an actor as well as doing voice work in the dubbing industry. He attracted international attention when his debut feature 'I Killed My Mother' won three awards at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It was also Canada's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
Born in 1973, von Donnersmark, grew up in the USA, Germany and Belgium, and read Politics and Philosophy at Oxford. At university he drafted the story, 'Sonata for a Good Man', which explored the old aesthetic question of how to bridge the chasm between thinking and feeling. It was the main influence for his 2006 film 'The Lives of Others', which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
A French filmmaker who works with Jacques Martineau, best known for balancing gay themes with comedy, his most popular international film has been 'Cockles and Mussels' (2005). His most recent film, 'Theo & Hugo' (2016) is a rhapsodic love letter to Paris, as the eponymous couple leave a gay club late one weekend night and wander the streets of the French capital.
Bold, visionary and occasionally controversial, Bruno Dumont explores the darker side of the human psyche and our capacity for violence, although his recent work has surprised some with its comedy. His feature debut 'La Vie de Jésus' (1997) ranks alongside Truffaut's 'The 400 Blows' (1959) and Maurice Pialat's 'L'Enfance Nue' (1969) in its unsentimental portrait of youth. He followed it with 'Humanité' (1999), a contemporary drama with biblical overtones which, along with 'TwentyNine Palms' (2003), an account of a relationship breaking down in the desert outside Los Angeles, divided critics. If 'Flanders' (2006), 'Hadewijch' (2009) and the extraordinary 'Camille Claudel 1915' (2013), the latter featuring a stunning performance by Juliette Binoche as the gifted but troubled artist, all testify to Dumont's seriousness as a filmmaker, the dark humour of 'Hors Satan' (2011) hinted at the gear change that was to come. In 'P'tit Quinquin' (2014), Dumont has two inept detectives investigating a series of bizarre deaths in a small coastal town in Northern France. Nothing is what it seems and the crimes eventually take a back seat to Dumont's hilarious character studies. Murder also lies at the heart of 'Slack Bay' (2017). Returning to the French coast, albeit in 1910, it details the relationship between an aristocratic family who have married-in perhaps a few too many times and the locals who live nearby. Outrageously funny, with superb performances by Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, it highlights Dumont's mastery over farce and his ability to surprise with his shifts in tone and levity.
Lena Dunham was born in 1986 in New York. After high school, Dunham attended Oberlin college where she graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. In 2009, she released her first feature film 'Creative Nonfiction', which was followed by 'Tiny Furniture' (2010). In 2012, she gained a wider audience with her hugely popular HBO series 'Girls', which follows a group of 20-something women in New York City.