Educated at the National Film School of Denmark, documentary filmmaker Phie Ambo (born 1973) is one of the leading Danish film directors of her generation.
Award winning for her feature length documentary films true to the tradition of poetic, personal and cinematic documentary filmmaking, Ambo deals with sensitive topics such as family relations, love, spiritualism, creative processes, artificial life and robots. Phie Ambo has directed a number of award-winning films for the cinema, including major works such as Family (2001), Gambler (2005), and Mechanical Love (2007).
Her films travel the world and have been screened in cinemas as well as over 90 festivals and on television throughout the world. Ambo is mainly interested in big questions like ‘what makes us human as opposed to robots?’ (Mechanical Love). Her intimate method of filming – one woman, one camera, no lightning – allows her to blend in with her surroundings, thus getting very close to her subjects without disturbing the natural pace of the situation. As a result of this method, one of Ambo’s trademarks are intimate and universally human stories that get very close to their characters and allow them space to unfold.
2012: FREE THE MIND. 80 min. Director. Selected for IDFA’s masters program 2012.
2010: THE HOME FRONT. 40 min. Director & cinematographer. Festivals: DocuWeek, New York 2011, San Francisco Int. Festival, IDFA.
2010: FEVER. 14 min. Director & cinematographer.
2007: MECHANICAL LOVE. 78 min. Director & cinematographer.
Festivals: CPH:DOX, Doc Point, Helsinki, IDFA, HotDocs, Toronto, Silverdocs, Washington, Los Angeles FF, Munchen IFF, Nordic Panorama.
Awards: Internet audience award, Planete Doc. Warsaw.
Nominations: Cinema Eye Honor, New York & Gulddok, Copenhagen.
2005: GAMBLER. 80min. Director & cinematographer.
Festivals: CPH:DOX, Gøteborg FF, Nordic Presentation, Rotterdam FF, Seattle IFF, Taiwan golden horse IFF.
2003: THE DIVER INSIDE ME. 28 min. Director & cinematographer. Festivals: Sheffield IDF, Norwegian DFF in Volda, Ankara IFF.
2002: GROWING UP IN A DAY. 28 min. Director & cinematographer. Festivals: IDFA, Sheffield IDF, Visions du Reel, Nyon.
Awards: Kodak award for best photography on short film, Visions du Reel.
2001: FAMILY. 90 min. Director & cinematographer, co-directed by Sami Saif.
Awards: IDFA 2001: Joris Ivens Award, München DFF 2002: Dokumentarfilmpreis Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Zanzibar IFF 2003: Best Documentary, American Film Institute 2003: Honorary Mention.