Psykou studied direction at Lykourgos Stavrakos Film School and sociology at Panteion U. She also studied cultural history in Paris and participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus. “The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas” marks her feature debut. Her second feature script, “Ivo and Sofia,” was selected for a Berlinale residency.
The daughter of two of Italy’s leading architects, Fuksas started in the family trade, studying architecture before turning to filmmaking. Since completing the short film “Marni” in 2006, she has written and directed musicvideos, documentaries and short films. The beautifully composed, architecturally infused “Nina” is her first feature film.
D.p. Christov studied cinematography at Bulgaria’s National Academy for Theater and Film Arts and has shot features (including “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner” and “Zift”), documentaries and musicvideos. “The Color of the Chameleon,” a stylish take on Bulgaria’s transition from communism, marks his helming debut.
Felix van Groeningen
Van Groeningen’s latest, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” scored the Berlinale’s audience award. His film The “Misfortunates,” a Flemish hit, repped Belgium in the Oscar race; earlier titles include “With Friends Like These …” and “Steve + Sky.” He has also written and directed plays with the Ghent theater group Kung Fu.
Born to an Austrian father and Bosnian mother, Pichler left her factory job to study film directing in Gothenburg. Her graduation short “Scratches” won a national film prize. Her films focus on social class and cultural identity, and search for the unexpected in everyday life. “Eat Sleep Die” marks her first feature.
Michiel ten Horn
The Netherlands, 29
An animator and illustrator who gradually inclined more toward live action, ten Horn wrote and directed the short films “Basta,” “Alex in Amsterdam” and “Arie.” For his first feature, “The Deflowering of Eva Van End,” he creates a visual style that is a perfect blend of satire and sincerity.
Known for his well- honed sense of the absurd, visible in “Screaming Men” and “Freetime Machos,” documaker Ronkainen moves into more humanist territory with the touching “Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart.” He was
a member of the Screaming Men choir Mieskuoro Huutajat from 1994-99 and a co-founder of the Air Guitar World Championships.
An early adept as a genre maestro, Uthaug made his first film, “The Axe Killer,” in eighth grade. He helmed commercials and musicvideos before making his feature debut with hit horror pic “Cold Prey.” His filmography also includes the children’s film “Magic Silver,” co-directed with Katarina Launing, and the period actioner “Escape.”
Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Gross
Georgia, 34 and Germany, 37
Tbilisi-born Ekvtimishvili studied screenwriting and dramaturgy at Potsdam’s HFF Konrad Wolf. Inspired by memories of her youth, she scripted coming-of-ager “In Bloom” and co-directed with her partner Simon Gross (“Fata Morgana”), who studied at the Munich Film School, worked as an editor for L.A.’s Spyglass Entertainment and went on to found production companies in Germany and Georgia.
Recognized for his thrilling, muscular directing style, of
which “Traffic Department” is so far the apotheosis, Smarzowski graduated from the Lodz Film School. He launched his career directing musicvideos and moved on to TV dramas and serials. He wrote and directed “The Wedding” and “The Dark House” and helmed “Rose.”