Emma Branderhorst

My name is Emma Branderhorst, a 28-year-old director from Amsterdam. My work primarily tackles significant social themes, transforming them into personal and intimate narratives. I focus on stories from the female perspective, exploring issues such as period poverty, children of war, or shaming. While these themes may seem heavy, I strive to infuse a lighter tone, employing a ‘slice of life’ approach to bring my characters to life and ensure the narrative encompasses more than just the problem at hand.

I was born in a small town in the Netherlands and began my career as an actress, loving every moment on set. After multiple auditions at theatre school, I realized that acting wasn’t for me, so I attended the Art Academy in Utrecht. My directorial debut in 2021 “Under the Skin” launched my career, premiering at the prestigious Berlinale Generation. Followed by my second film “Spotless”, earning the Crystal Bear for best film and representing Dutch short films at the Oscars in 2023. My latest short, “Ma Mère et Moi,” also premiered at Berlinale in 2023.

I’m known for my authentic and cinematic storytelling, using a character-driven approach that ensures my films always have a personal touch and a degree of relatability. With a keen eye for realism and a dedication to portraying powerful, independent female protagonists, my work has gained global recognition. Together with an amazing team of people won the Grand Prix at Cannes Lions in 2024 for our commercial “Piece of Me,” along with three Silver Lions. We’ve also been honored with the coveted D&AD award and two consecutive Young Director Awards at Cannes in 2022 and 2023.

Currently, I’m channeling my vision and storytelling prowess into my first feature-length film, which poignantly explores the grief of a lost friendship.