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Katja Esson

Katja Esson began her film career in Miami working as a production assistant for the notorious potty-mouthed rap group 2 Live Crew on such memorable music videos as "Me So Horny". Since her days of wrangling booty-shaking babes Esson has moved on to direct a variety of award-winning documentaries, short films and commercials.

Born and raised in Germany, Esson brings a quirky European sensibility to the distinctively American subjects she chooses. Her documentary short FERRY TALES which turns the unlikely setting of the Staten Island Ferry Powder Room into a celebration of sisterhood received an Academy Award-nomination in 2004 and premiered on HBO.

She is frequently commissioned for documentaries on American subjects for European audiences. In 2006, Esson completed HOLE IN THE SKY: THE SCARS OF 9/11, which premiered on ARD and received the Gold Award at the World Media Festival in Germany. A SEASON OF MADNESS (2006) was her first narrative short film.

Her recent documentary, SKYDANCER, is about the Mohawk ironworkers who are responsible for constructing America’s cityscape; the film is a provocative examination of Native American life in the 21st century. Other credits include VERTICAL TRAVELER, which explores the pioneering spirit of New York City through the metaphoric story of the city’s unique relationship with elevators.

Esson lives in Brooklyn, New York and divides her time between Germany and the United States. (8/14)


Ferry Tales
A film by Katja Esson, 2003, 40 min., Color

Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short, FERRY TALES exposes a secret world that exists in the powder room of the Staten Island Ferry--a plac...

Latching On
A film by Katja Esson, 2010, 36 min., Color

After filmmaker Katja Esson’s sister gave birth in Germany, she was able to breastfeed her baby anywhere and at any time. Returning home to New York, ...

Poetry of Resilience
A film by Katja Esson, 2011, 40 min., Color

Academy® Award nominated director Katja Esson’s (FERRY TALES, LATCHING ON) exquisitely made film explores survival, strength and the power of the huma...

Skydancer
A film by Katja Esson, 2011, 75 min., Color

Renowned for their balance and skill, six generations of Mohawk men have been leaving their families behind on the reservation to travel to New York C...



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