Honorary President


© Jacek Poremba

Agnieszka Holland

Film director and scriptwriter, born in Warsaw, 1948

Having graduated from FAMU, the Prague film school in 1971, Agnieszka Holland returned to Poland. She began her film career working with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. Her TV film debut was An Evening at Abdon’s (1975) and her first feature film was Provincial Actors (1978), one of the flagship pictures of the “cinema of moral disquiet” and the winner of the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980. In 1981, after Marshall Law in Poland, Holland emigrated to France.

In the West she made several movies, among others Europa Europa (1990), which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. Holland had also received an Academy Award nominations in 1985 and 2012 (Best Foreign Language Film for Angry Harvest and In Darkness).
She collaborated with her friend, Krzysztof Kieslowski, on the screenplay of his trylogy, Three Colors (1993). Holland’s later films include To Kill a Priest, Angry Harvest, Europa Europa, Olivier Olivier (1992), The Secret Garden (1993), Total Eclipse (1995),vWashington Square (1997), Third Miracle (1999) the HBO production Shot in the Heart (2001), Julia Walking Home (2001), Copying Beethoven (2006) and In Darkness (2011).

She formated and directed several episodes of some of the important TV series in the US, such as The Wire, Treme, The Killing, House of Cards. She directed mini-series Burning Bush, a three part drama series for HBO Europe, inspired by the actions of Jan Palach, a 21-year-old student who set himself on fire in Wenceslas Square in Prague in 1969 as a protest against the communist regime and the occupation of Prague by Soviet bloc armies, and Rosemary’s Baby, a TV miniseries that premiered on NBC in May 2014. Her latest feature film is Spoor, based on Olga Tokarczuk’s novel Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead. Spoor premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival (2017) where it was awarded Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for “opening new perspectives on cinematic art”.

Her last projects- TV series 1983 for Netflix and feature film Gareth Jones are in post- production, to be released in following months.

Agnieszka Holland has also written or co-written screenplays for films made by other directors and directed plays for the Polish Television.


FERA Ambassadors are some of Europe’s most celebrated and respected directors. Together with our distinguished FERA President Agnieszka Holland we believe they will make important contributions to the debates that are now taking place and welcome their support for the work FERA does on behalf of all European film directors. The films made by our ambassadors represent a tradition of excellence and innovation in European cinema, and their achievement has earned them great acclaim and admiration throughout the world.


Marco Bellocchio

Marco Bellochio began studying philosophy in Milan but then decided to enter film school. His first film Fists in the Pocket (1965) was funded by family members and shot on family property. He made a big impact on radical Italian cinema in the mid-sixties. In 1968 he joined the Communist Union, and began to make politically militant cinema such as China is Near (1967). In 1991 he won the Silver Bear at the Berlinale for his film The Conviction. The Wedding Director (2006) and Vincere (2009) were both screened at the Cannes Film Festival, the latter in the main competition. Bellochio was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2011 Venice Film Festival.


Michaël R. Roskam

Michaël R. Roskam attended St. Lucas Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, where he studied painting and contemporary art, and the Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam where he graduated in 2005 with a master’s degree in script writing. After several jobs as a journalist for Flemish newspaper De Morgen and a copywriter, he directed his first short film entitled Haun in 2002. This was followed by Carlo (2004), another short film which won the Audience Award at Leuven International Short Film Festival. In 2005, he made The One Thing To Do and, in 2007, Today is Friday, based on an Ernest Hemingway short story, that was filmed in Los Angeles. Roskam made his feature film debut with Bullhead  (prod. Savage Film) which was released in 2011. In 2012 the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He was named by Variety one of the “10 directors to watch”. For Bullhead he received the Magritte Award for Best Screenplay and the André Cavens Award for Best Film by the Belgian Film Critics Association (UCC), among over 35 other international awards. In June 2012, Roskam was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Bullhead became a major critical and commercial success, while launching the careers of actor Matthias Schoenaerts and DOP Nicolas Karakatsanis, who have both become Roskam’s close collaborators. In 2014 The Drop (prod. Chernin Entertainment), Roskam’s first US-based film, was released worldwide through Fox Searchlight, featuring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, the late James Gandolfini and Matthias Schoenaerts. In 2015 he directed the first two episodes ofBerlin Station, a television series produced by Anonymous Content. His next European feature film, Le Fidèle (prod. Savage Film & Stone Angels), featuring Matthias Schoenaerts and Adèle Exarchopoulos, will start shooting in Spring 2016.


Charles Sturridge 

Charles Sturridge’s work includes the multi award winning adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s ‘Brideshead Revisited’ with Jeremy Irons and Laurence Olivier, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ with Ted Danson, Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif. In 2000 he wrote and directed ‘Longitude’ (C4) with Michael Gambon and Jeremy Irons and in 2002 ‘Shackleton’ with Ken Branagh   both winning Best Drama Serial BAFTA’s. In 2009 he directed ’The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ and the ‘The Road To Coronations Street’ which won the RTS and BAFTA awards for Best Single Drama. In 2012 he wrote and directed Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘The Scapegoat with Matthew Rhys and in 2013/14 he directed episodes of ‘Dates’ and “Da Vinci’s Demons’. His most recent production was ‘Churchill’s Secret’ starring Michael Gambon, Lindsay Duncan and Romola Garai. His films include: Runners, A Handful of Dust, Where Angels Fear to Tread, Aria, Lassie and the BAFTA winning Fairytale, A True Story.


István Szabó

István Szabó was the President of FERA from 2008 to 2012. István Szabó was born in Budapest, in 1938. He was an assistant film director and later a film director of MAFILM Hungarian Film Studios until the winding-up of the company. His films have won several international film awards such as the nominations of the American Film Academy for four times for the films : ‘Confidence’, ‘Mephisto’, ‘Colonel Redl’, and ‘Hanussen’, and the Academy has nominated his film ‘Being Julia’ for best female artist. His films have been nominated twice for the Golden Globe award (Colonel Redl, Sunshine). ‘Mephisto’ has won the Academy award and ‘Colonel Redl’ has won the British Academy Award. ‘Mephisto’ has won the David di Donatello Award as well; ‘Sunshine’ has won the Canadian Grand Prize. The scripts of ‘Sweet Emma’, ‘Dear Böbe’ and ‘Sunshine’ won the prizes of European Film Academy for best screenplay. ‘The Day of Daydreaming’ and ’25 Fireman’s Street’ have won the prizes of Locarno Film Festival; ‘Father’ has won the Grand Prix of Moscow Film Festival; ‘Confidence’ and ‘Sweet Emma’, ‘Dear Böbe’ have won the prizes of Berlin Film Festival for best director; ‘Mephisto’ and ‘Colonel Redl’ have won the prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. From the enlisted films above many of them have won the prizes of Hungarian Film Critics and the prizes of Hungarian Film Week.