Big Screen Symposium

Mexican filmmaker Dana Rotberg has lived and worked as a director, writer and producer in Mexico, France and Bosnia & Herzegovina.  She is currently living in Auckland, New Zealand.

While still living in Mexico Rotberg directed her first film, the feature length documentary Elvira Luz Cruz: Pema Maxima (1985).  It was awarded Best Documentary by the Mexican Film Academy and the Bochica de Oro Award for Best Latin-American Documentary, Colombia.

Following this she directed her first feature film Intimacy in 1989 and then went on to write, direct and produce her second feature Angel de Fuego (Angel of Fire). She is best known for this film as it was selected as the opening film for Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Director’s Fortnight) at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1992.  The film was well received and went on to screen at film festivals around the world.

Following this success, Rotberg spent the next few years in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina where she co-produced two films that also secured the opening spot at Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Cannes International Film Festival).

The feature length documentary MGM Sarajevo. Man, God and the Monster (MGM Sarajevo –Covjek, Bog, Monstrum) opened Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in 1994, and the Bosnia, France and Netherlands co-production The Perfect Circle took the same opening spot in 1997.

The Perfect Circle won the François Chalais Award and the Cannes Junior Prix at Cannes that year.  After this attention the film went on to win many other awards: Special Jury Prize, Paris Film Festival, Best Director Award and Tokyo Grand Prix, Tokyo International Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize – Special Mention, Valladolid International Film Festival, Wim Van-Leer prize, Jerusalem International Film Festival.

She moved back to Mexico in 1997 and in 2000 she directed and co-wrote the feature film Otlia Rauda which won the NHK Filmmaker’s Award at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.

Rotberg has recently written and directed Medicine Woman (Working Title), adapted from a novella by renowned New Zealand author Witi Ihimaera.  The film is final stages of post production with release expected early 2013.