"In my films I often place the set pieces from reality in an unusual spot in order to awaken an alertness in the viewer that invites them to question the connections from reality."
Photo: Isabelle Stever (l.) and Constantin Campean (r. DoP) at the shooting of "Grand Jeté" (© Anna Melikova)
Isabelle Stever's films are characterized by an unconventional narrative style, authenticity and a closely observing gaze. She is inspired by real characters, dialogues and incidents. Deviating from conventions feeds her narrative desire, as she says in an interview. And that's what gives her films an artistic signature all their own. In GISELA, we follow two day thieves who indulge in their drinking bouts and sexual boasts in a new housing estate and eventually fall under the spell of the married supermarket cashier and young mother Gisela. The authenticity of the consistently naturalistically staged love triangle is underlined by the intense acting of the actors and their rough language. Her other feature films also tell unusual love stories. In ERSTE EHE (Portrait of a Married Couple), a young couple argues their way through their own wedding party. In GLÜCKLICHE FÜGUNG (Blessed Events) , the pregnant Simone questions common notions of happiness, while her boyfriend is looking forward to their child and home together. In DAS WETTER IN GESCHLOSSEN RÄUMEN (The Weather Inside) we see how Dorothea, an aid worker who acquires donations in the Arab crisis area, loses control when she starts an affair with young Alec. Positions usually reserved for men in German film are taken over by women in Isabelle Stever's films. Her heroines deviate from conventions and challenge them.
Filmgalerie 451 released her film GISELA on DVD in 2007, which can be seen in streaming. More films will be available soon.
Isabelle Stever, born in Munich in 1963, lives in Berlin since 1984. In addition to her studies in mathematics at the Technical University of Berlin, she worked as an assistant director and script editor, among other things. Following her diploma (1994), she studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin (DFFB). Her graduation film ERSTE EHE (Portrait of a Married Couple) was awarded the director's newcomer prize "First Steps" as best feature film in 2002. Maria Simon wons the Max Ophüls Award for Best Young Actress. In 2005 followed her debut film GISELA, which premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival and won, among others, the Austrian "Crossing Europe Award". 2009 her short film EINE DEMOKRATISCHE GESPRÄCHSRUNDE ZU FESTGELEGTEN ZEITEN (A Democratic Round Table at Specified Times) was made as part of the episodic film DEUTSCHLAND 09 - 13 KURZE FILME ZUR LAGE DER NATION (Germany ′09 – 13 Short Films About the State of the Nation), which premiered in competition at the Berlinale. In 2010 her feature film GLÜCKLICHE FÜGUNG (Blessed Events) would be screened in the program of the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2015, her feature film DAS WETTER IN GESCHLOSSEN RÄUMEN (The Weather Inside) celebrated its gala premiere in Zurich and was screened at the Busan International Film Festival, as the opening film at the Max Ophüls Festival and at the 2morrow Film Festival in Moscow, where it is awarded the prize for "Best Performance" and "Best Story", among others. The leading actress Maria Furtwängler received the "Preis der deutschen Schauspielkunst" at the Ludwigshafen Film Festival. Isabelle Stever's latest film GRAND JETÉ will have its world premiere in the Panorama section of the Berlinale 2022.
Isabelle Stever lives in Berlin, works as a director and writer, and as a lecturer at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin, the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, the Petersburg School of New Cinema and the Moscow Film School of New Cinema.
GRAND JETÉ, 2022, 105 min
DAS WETTER IN GESCHLOSSENEN RÄUMEN ("The Weather Inside"), 2015, 100 min
GLÜCKLICHE FÜGUNG ("Blessed Events"), 2010, 90 min
EINE DEMOKRATISCHE GESPRÄCHSRUNDE ZU FESTGELEGTEN ZEITEN, 2009, 11 min
GISELA, 2005, 90 min
ERSTE EHE ("Portrait of a Married Couple"), 2003, 92 min
REQUIEM FÜR ETWAS, DAS SEHR KLEIN IST, 1997, 20 min