Emma Branderhorst

My name is Emma Branderhorst, a 27-year-old director from Amsterdam. In my work I mainly deal with major social themes, which I make into a personal and intimate story. My stories are mostly from the female perspective. In my previous work I have dealt with themes such as period poverty, children of war and bullying. Although these themes sound heavy, I always try to apply a light tone. The ‘slice of life’ effect is very important in my work which is how I am able to make the characters feel ‘alive’ and that the story doesn’t only focus on the problem.

My career up till now

In 2019 I graduated from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht with the short film Onderhuids (Under the Skin). This film is about the struggle and urge to belong to a group, at the expense of others which often happens in a very subtle devious way amongst girls. I based this film on my own experiences during my high school days.

This film premiered at the Berlinale in 2020 and we won many prizes, including at the Cinekid festival (best short film) in Amsterdam and I won the Wildcard worth 50,000 euros at the Netherlands Film Festival. I could never have dreamed of this kickstart. Then I started working on my new film Spotless (Vlekkeloos), a film about period poverty. This film premiered at the Berlinale in 2020. We won the Crystal Bear at the Berlinale. Many filmfestivals and awards followed. We qualified for the Academy Awards 2022.

Last year I premiered with my latest short Ma Mere et Moi (My Mother and I). We also premiered at the Berlinale in the Generation 14plus competition. We’re traveling around the world with this film. The latest award is the Gold Screen at YDA in Cannes.

Currently I’m working on my film feature project.

In addition to my fiction projects, I am affiliated with PINK RABBIT and THE CORNERSHOP for my commercial work. In my commercial work I try to create subtle, sensitive and realistic campaigns. I see it as my duty to paint a realistic picture of reality in commercial work as well.

Glass of..?

I am an extremely driven, enthusiastic and studious director. And next to that also a sociable woman full of passion. I would love to think along with you, and come up with the best idea together. Preferably over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.