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Producer - Head of Development and Productions -

Born 1954 in Paris.  Nationality: French.
Mathematics and physics studies.

Former engineer and scientific researcher.
Graduated EAVE-Europe in 1992.


From 1974 to 1981, Philippe Avril worked as a journalist and cinema critic. He shot and produced a first full-length film in 1979, "Estrasburgo de Chile".
In 1989 he founded in Strasbourg a first production film company ('Les Films De L'Observatoire') mainly developing creative documentaries and soon focused on international co-productions (documentaries, feature films) for cinema and television and based in Strasbourg and Paris (France).
Since 2002, Philippe Avril is co-producing internationally art-house films and likes to discover and coach new talents.

Lecturing at the Marc Bloch University (Strasbourg) from 2001 to 2009, intervening regularly in international workshops and training courses in France and Europe, Philippe Avril has been the French national co-ordinator of the Media Programme EAVE (European Audio-Visual Entrepreneurs) from 1997 to 2011. He created in 2014 the Strasbourg University Master 2 Pro entitled: ‘International Co-Production of Audio-Visual and Cinema Works’, being the Head of Studies of from 2014 to 2016. He is now developing the project of a 2-years new Master of Production to begin in 2018.

Philippe Avril’s early international co-productions were with Central and Eastern European filmmakers: Dušan Hának (Paper Heads, 1994, Slovakia), Petr Václav (Marian, 1996, Czech Republic), Valdas Navasaitis (Kiemas 1999, Lithuania), Bakhtyiar Khudojnazarov (Luna Papa, 1999, Tajikistan).
Since 1997, he explored co-productions with Asian filmmakers: Park Kwang-su (The Uprising, 1997, South-Korea), Aoyama Shinji (Eureka, 2000, Japan), Garin Nugroho (A Poet, 2001, Indonesia), Sabiha Sumar (Khamosh Pani/Silent Waters, 2003, Pakistan), Vimukthi Jayasundara (The Forsaken Land, 2005, Sri Lanka, Between Two Worlds, 2009, Sri Lanka, Chatrak [Mushrooms], 2011, India, Dark in the White Light, 2015, Sri Lanka), Murali Nair (Virgin Goat, 2010, India), Wang Bing (The Ditch, 2010, China), Pepe Diokno (Above The Clouds, 2014, Philippines) and Katsuya Tomita (Bangkok Nites, 2016, Japan).
Since the 2000’s, he co-produced also Middle-East and African filmmakers: Monika Borgmann & Lokman Slim (Massaker, 2005, Tadmor, 2016, Lebanon), Haile Gerima (Teza, 2008, Ethiopia), Malek Bensmaïl (China is Still Far, 2009, Algeria), Licínio Azevedo (The Train of Salt and Sugar, 2016, Mozambique).
French and European co-productions include on the other hand: Juventude em Marcha (Colossal Youth), by Pedro Costa (Portugal, 2006), La Fine del Mare, by Nora Hoppe (Germany, 2006), Welcome to Bataville, by François Caillat (France, 2007), The Day Will Come, by Susanne Schneider (Germany, 2009), The End of Silence, by Roland Edzard (France, 2011), The Fifth Season, by Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth (Belgium, 2012), Left Foot Right Foot, by Germinal Roaux (Switzerland, 2013) and Between 10 and 12, by Peter Hoogendoorn (The Netherlands, 2014).

Main Awards / Selections in Festivals


PAPER HEADS: long-length documentary, Golden Spire Award (San Francisco, 1996), Special Prize of the Jury (Karlovy-Vary, 1996).
MARIAN: Silver Leopard, Locarno, 1996.
KIEMAS: Directors’ Fortnight official selection, Cannes, 1999
LUNA PAPA: Best artistic contribution (Tokyo, 1999), Golden Balloon, Nantes, 3 Continents, 1999.
BEYOND THE FOREST: Audience Award, Marseilles, 1999.
EUREKA: Cannes official competition, 2000.
SILENT WATERS (KHAMOSH PANI): Golden Leopard, Best actress Silver Leopard, Locarno, 2003, Silver Balloon & Audience Award, Nantes, 3 Continents FF, 2003.
MASSAKER: Fipresci Award, Berlinale, 2005, Panorama section.
THE FORSAKEN LAND: Camera D’Or for the best directorial debut, Cannes, 2005 (Un Certain Regard).
JUVENTUDE EM MARCHA (COLOSSAL YOUTH): official competition, 2006.
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS & 2 DAYS (4 LUNI, 3 SAPTAMINI SI 2 ZILE): Golden Palm and Fipresci Award, Cannes, 2007.
CHINA IS STILL FAR: Special Jury Award, 3 Continents Film Festival, Nantes, 2008, Grand Prize, DokFest, Munich 2009.
TEZA: Special Prize of The Jury, Osella for the best screenplay, Venice, 2008. Golden Tanit, best music, best cinematography, best screenplay, best male supporting role, Carthage Days 2008. Golden Stallion, Fespaco, Burkina-Faso, 2009.
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: Venice official competition, September 2009.
THE DITCH: Venice official competition, September 2010.
THE END OF SILENCE (LA FIN DU SILENCE): Directors’ Fortnight official selection, Cannes, May 2011.
CHATRAK (MUSHROOMS): Directors’ Fortnight official selection, Cannes, May 2011.
THE FIFTH SEASON: Venice official competition, September 2012 then in many international film festivals (2 awards in Venice, 3 in Valladolid, eleven in all).
LEFT FOOT RIGHT FOOT: Montreal official competition, World Film Festival, August 2013, Golden Bayard of the best first feature film, Namur, October 2013.
BETWEEN 10 AND 12: Venice Days official selection, September 2014.
ABOVE THE CLOUDS: Tokyo International Film Festival official competition, October 2014.
DARK IN THE WHITE LIGHT: Official competition, Locarno Film Festival, August 2015.
TADMOR: Nyon Film Festival (Visions du Réel), official competition April 2016. Special mention of the Jury, Silver Sesterce, Best Swiss Film.
BANGKOK NITES: Official competition, Locarno Film Festival, August 2016. Young Jury Award.
THE TRAIN OF SALT AND SUGAR: Piazza Grande Programme, Locarno Film Festival, August 2016. Amiens IFF official competition.
HUNTING SEASON (TEMPORADA DE CAZA): Critics’ Week, Venice Film Festival, Horizontes Latinos, San Sebastian IFF - September 2017.

TOUCH ME NOT : Golden Bear & GWFF Best First Feature Award, 68th Berlinale (2018 official competition)

MANTA RAY : Best film, Orizzonti, 2018 Venice Film Festival, Silver Pyramid Best Director, Cairo International Film Festival ..., Best ASEAN Film, Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival 2019.

LUISE : world premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) - Harbour selection

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