Cinematography Workshop Discussion

Birgit Gudjonsdottir & Sophie Maintigneux

7. Cinematography Workshop Discussion

Since 2005, cinematography workshop discussions have been a regular feature at the Dortmund | Cologne International Women‘s Film Festival. The outset in 2001 was the National Competition for Young Women Directors of Photography, the stated aim being to draw attention to the next generation of women working in the sector. It soon become clear that protracted discussions with expert directors of photography would be a particularly good way to convey relevant skills, tips and tricks of the trade as rooted in the experience of the everyday routine. In 2009, then, Sophie Maintigneux, the renowned director of photography, took on the task of conducting the workshop discussions with her colleagues for four hours at time. In that process, thanks to her profound knowledge and her highly approachable manner, she was able to negotiate an unusual situation for invited guests who are not used to the spotlight of interest but rather to standing behind the camera. The cinematography workshop discussions have thus become a virtual trademark for the Dortmund|Cologne International Women‘s Film Festival and attract many female cinematographers every year.

Birgit Gudjonsdottir was born 1962 in Iceland, trained as a photographer and has worked as a cinematographer mostly in Germany since 1992. She is active in various fields – from TV movies and cinema documentary films thought to fiction feature films. She also directed photography for several episodes of Inspector Rex, a canine detective series popular in Germany. She has collaborated with Florian Flicker and repeatedly with director Connie Walther. Has also been in charge of second unit camera on several productions, including films for Urs Egger, Wolfgang Becker, Karyn Kusama, Kevin Spacey and Dan Bradley. Ms Gudjonsdottir began to teach at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in 1998 and at the German Film and TV Academy in Berlin in 2005. In 2010, she received a guest professorship at the University of Film and Television »Konrad Wolf« in Potsdam and was made Honorary Professor there in 2013. Her numerous teaching assignments abroad also show how highly she is in demand as a lecturer. She is a member of the German Camera Association (bvk), of the der Icelandic Society of Cinematographers (IKS) and, since 2012, a member of the board at European Federation of Cinematographers, imago.

One of the most respected cinematographers in Europe, Sophie Maintigneux has been active as a freelance since 1984. She has been director of photography on more than 70 fiction feature films and documentaries – e.g. Eric Rohmer on The Green Ray (1985) which won a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1986. A year later, she stood behind the camera for Jean-Luc Godard and his version of King Lear. She has also worked with other directors such as Michael Klier, Jan Schütte and Helga Reidemeister who received the Dortmund Honorary Award for Documentary Film in 2011. In addition to numerous other awards over the years, she has received the German Camera Prize twice: in 2003 for the film about the Pina Bausch dance project Damen und Herren ab 65 (Ladies and Gentlemen over 65) as directed by Lilo Mangelsdorff; and in 2009 for Die dünnen Mädchen (aka The Thin Girls) as directed by Maria Teresa Camoglio. Her latest work includes a biographical documentary Michel Petrucciani – Leben gegen die Zeit (2011) co-directed by Michael Radford and Mark Lombardi and Kunst und Konspiration (2012) which was screened in the Panorama section at the Cologne edition of the International Women‘s Film Festival in 2012. After many years teaching at the German TV & Film Academy in Berlin, Ms Maintigneux was appointed Professor of Cinematography at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts in 2011.

Sat. 13 April, 1 - 5.30 p.m. (with break), Schauburg