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Qumra Masters Biography
Bennett Miller is an Academy Award-nominated film director best known for his narrative features ‘Capote’, ‘Moneyball’, and ‘Foxcatcher’. Miller made his feature debut in 1998 with the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary ‘The Cruise’. In 2005, he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for ‘Capote’, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman in his Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote...
Miller’s 2011 feature ‘Moneyball’, starring Brad Pitt, was also praised by critics, and went on to receive six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Miller was honoured at the Festival de Cannes in 2014 with the Best Director prize for his most recent feature film, ‘Foxcatcher’, starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo. ‘Foxcatcher’ was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Miller’s second nomination for Best Director.
Andrey Zvyagintsev was born in 1964 in Novosibirsk, and graduated from the acting programme at the Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS) in 1999, under the tutelage of Evgeny Lazarev. He later went on to take part in independent theatre productions and had a few small parts in films and television programmes...
In 2003, Zvyagintsev shot his first feature-length film, ‘The Return’. A debut not only for the director but for the majority of the crew as well, the film was accepted for the main competition at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion. It also took the Luigi de Laurentiis Lion of the Future prize for best first work, with the commendation: “a sublime film about love, loss, and coming of age.”
His second film, ‘The Banishment’, was presented at the Festival de Cannes in 2007, when Konstantin Lavronenko became the first Russian ever to receive the festival’s Best Leading Actor award. Cannes also presented the international premiere of Zvyagintsev’s third film, ‘Elena’, which took the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section. ‘Leviathan’ (2014) was selected for the Official Competition at Cannes, and won the award for Best Screenplay. ‘Leviathan’ also became the first Russian film since 1969 to win the Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film; it was nominated for the Academy Award in the same category, and took the Best Film award at the London Film Festival.
His most recent film, ‘Loveless’ (2017) has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and was selected for the Cannes Official Competition, where it won the Jury Prize at Cannes. It also went on to be named Best Film at the London Film Festival, making Zvyagintsev only the second director to have won that award twice.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is recognised as one of the most original voices in contemporary cinema. His six feature-length films, short films, and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including the Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes in 2010 for 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives'...
In 2002, his 'Blissfully Yours' (2002) took the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes; 'Tropical Malady' (2004) won the Jury Prize in the Cannes Official Competition, and ‘Syndromes and a Century’ (2006) was recognised as one of the best films of the previous decade in several 2010 polls. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, Weerasethakul devotes himself to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his production company Kick the Machine Films.
Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, Weerasethakul’s film works are non-linear, dealing with memory, and subtly invoking personal politics and social issues. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998, and is now recognised as a major international visual artist. His accolades include the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2013), and South Korea’s prestigious Yanghyun Art Prize (2014).
His installations have included the multi-screen project ‘Primitive’ (2009), acquired for major museum collections (including the Tate Modern in London and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris), a major installation for Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany, in 2012, and, most recently, the film installations ‘Dilbar’ (2013) and ‘Fireworks (Archives)’ (2014), variously presented in one-person exhibitions in galleries in Kyoto, London, Mexico City, and Oslo.
Gianfranco Rosi was born in Asmara, Eritrea, and attended university in Italy before emigrating to the United States in 1985 to study Film at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Following a journey to India, he produced and directed his first documentary, ‘Boatman’ (1993), which was selected for film festivals including the Festival del Film Locarno, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival...
In 2008, his first feature-length documentary, ‘Below Sea Level’ won the Orizzonti Award at the Venice Film Festival, as well as the Grand Prix and the Prix des Jeunes at Cinéma du Réel, the prize for Best Documentary at the One World Film Festival in Prague, the Vittorio De Seta prize for Best Documentary at the Bari International Film Festival; it was also nominated for the European Film Award for Best Documentary.
In 2010, Rosi directed ‘El Sicario, Room 164’, a film-interview about a killer-turned-informer from a Mexican drug cartel. Despite contrasting reviews, it won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival and the Doc/it Professional Award for Best Documentary, and was named Best Film at DocLisboa. In 2013, ‘Sacro Gra’, won the Golden Lion at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, becoming the first documentary to ever land the prize. His most recent documentary, ‘Fire at Sea’ (2016), won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, as well as the European Film Award for Best Documentary. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Costume designer Sandy Powell has won three Academy Awards, for her work on Jean-Marc Vallée’s ‘The Young Victoria’ (2009), Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator’ (2004), and John Madden’s ‘Shakespeare in Love’ (1998). She has also been nominated for Oscars nine times: for Todd Haynes’s ‘Carol’ (2015) and ‘Velvet Goldmine’ (1998); Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Cinderella’ (2015); Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ (2011) and ‘Gangs of New York’ (2002); Julie Taymor’s ‘The Tempest’ (2010); Stephen Frears’s ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ (2005); Iain Softley’s ‘The Wings of the Dove’ (1997); and Sally Potter’s ‘Orlando’ (1992)...
Powell has collaborated numerous times with Neil Jordan, on ‘The End of the Affair’ (1999), ‘The Butcher Boy’ (1997), ‘Michael Collins’ (1996), ‘Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles’ (1994), and ‘The Crying Game’ (1992). She worked extensively with Derek Jarman, on ‘Wittgenstein’ (1993), ‘Edward II’ (1991), ‘The Last of England’ (1987), and ‘Caravaggio’ (1986). Her work can also be seen in Justin Chadwick’s ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ (2008), Christine Jeffs’s ‘Sylvia’ (2003), Haynes’s ‘Far from Heaven’ (2002), Mike Figgis’s ‘Miss Julie’ (1999), and Anand Tucker’s ‘Hilary & Jackie’ (1998).
In 2011, Powell was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to the film industry. In 2016, along with its Oscar nominations, her work on Branagh’s ‘Cinderella’ and Haynes’s ‘Carol’ was nominated for BAFTAs and Costume Designers Guild Awards. Her more recent credits include John Cameron Mitchell’s ‘How to Talk to Girls at Parties’ (2017), for which she received a British Independent Film Award nomination, and Haynes’s ‘Wonderstruck’ (also 2017). Powell recently completed work on Rob Marshall’s upcoming ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, and is currently working with Scorsese on ‘The Irishman’, marking her seventh collaboration with the director, with whom she also previously worked on ‘The Wolf of Wall St’ (2013), ‘Shutter Island’ (2010), and ‘The Departed’ (2006).