Damian studied at the Academy of Theatre and Film Arts where she obtained a
diploma in Cinematography and a Doctor’s degree in Arts, Cinema and Media.
After graduating, she worked as a director, screenwriter and producer for
several documentaries on art related topics, and also as a director of
photography for two long feature films, and many other documentaries and
In 2008, she made her first
long feature film as a director, screenwriter and co-producer, “Crossing
Dates” (2008), a layered story that made Jay Weissberg write in Variety “keep
your eyes on Anca Damian”. The film was selected in international film
festivals like Busan, Chicago, Goa, Cottbus, Goteborg and Rome.
In 2012, her
second feature as Director, screenwriter and producer, “Crulic – The Path to
Beyond”, came to the international attention with great impact. Both the
autobiographic narration and the experimental form ensured the Kafkaesque movie
favour of many festival selectors – Locarno, Telluride, BFI London Film Festival,
Annecy, Busan, New Directors/New Films in New York among others 250 festivals.
The movie got more than 35 international prizes, among which the Cristal for
Best Feature Film Award in Annecy.
In 2013, her
next feature, “A Very Unsettled Summer” was an English-speaking film
with international cast: Kim Bodnia, Jamie Sives and Ana Ularu. An innovative
look upon a Pirandellian love triangle was brought in this Romanian, Swedish,
Czech and UK coproduction.
In 2015, her
second animated feature “The Magic Mountain” continues to establish Anca
Damian’s visual innovation style combined with strong topics. The story of a
Don Quixote in Afghanistan is also the second film of a trilogy that started
with Crulic. It had the world premiere in Annecy, and the international
premiere in Karlovy Vary IFF international competition. It was selected in more
than 60 festivals, such as San Sebastian, Leipzig, Amiens, Busan and won 11
international prizes. She
was also the first to receive the Audentia Award in 2016 offered by Eurimages,
which intends to celebrate women who have had the courage to make that choice
of pursuing a career in film directing, by giving their work greater visibility
and inspiring other women to follow in their footsteps.
In 2018, her most recent live action feature “Moon Hotel Kabul” premiered in Warsaw IFF, where it received the Best Director accolade, while her latest short animated feature “The Call” travelled the world in over 50 international festivals, among which Annecy, Toronto, Sundance, Hong Kong, and won 9 international prizes.
She was awarded the Mirada
International Award in Madrid International Film Festival 2018 – New Directors
Platform, for being “a total creator, a true landmark and an unchallenged
inspiration for new directors.” – as stated by the organisers.
In 2019 she premiered Marona’s Fantastic Tale in Annecy, followed by
long festival selection in festivals like Rotterdam IFF, Tokyo IFF and a lot of
accolades like European Film Awards nomination, Grand Prize for a feature
film & Audience Award – BIAF
2019, Special Jury prize in Animation is Film Los Angeles, BETV award in Anima.
The film has a worldwide distribution in US, France, Sweden, China, Japan,
Korea, Spain Turkey, Poland…