Katja Esson

Writer, Director, Producer
Penelope Pictures

Katja Esson is an Academy Award nominated director, producer. She is a German transplant and after more than 20 years in New York City she is now based in Miami. Her documentary short FERRY TALES garnered awards at prestigious international film festivals, went on to receive an Academy Award-nomination, and premiered on HBO in 2004. Some of her other films, HOLE IN THE SKY - THE SCARS OF 9/11 received the Gold Award at the World Media Festival. SKYDANCER premiered at the Margaret Mead Film Festival and received nominations for best film, director and cinematography at the Shanghai Film and Television Festival in 2011. POETRY OF RESILIENCE  awarded Grand Jury Prices at numerous festivals, including a Cinema for Peace Award-nomination at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012. Esson has a longstanding relationship with ARTE. She recently created and directed two highly rated 5-part documentary series BACKROADS USA (2014) and AMERICAN RIVERS (2016). She was awarded the Simons Public Humanities Fellowship at Kansas University and her films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, American Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian. Her work has been supported by the Jerome Foundation, the New York State Council of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts among others. Currently she co-producing WITHOUT A WHISPER with Katstisionni Fox about the influence of Native American Women on the first Suffragettes. She is also in production with RAZING LIBERTY SQUARE, about the demoliton and re-developing of the oldest segregated public housing project in the history of the United States, Liberty Square, Miami.