BIOGRAPHY AND MAIN THEMES
Nathalie Alonso Casale (1970) is a Dutch-Spanish-French film director, editor and writer. Raised in the most northern province of the Netherlands, she entered Amsterdam Film School (NFTVA) at the age of 16 and graduated a few years later with the (inter)-national award winning Memorias sin Batallas y otros Muertos (1992); a short film in which Alonso Casale revisits the concept of Heroism and History in the context of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). After having won all the prizes and being received with tremendous enthusiasm by the film critics, as well as by production companies and TV, she felt it was time to leave the Netherlands.
She first went off to Moscow, where one meeting led to another and soon she felt the urge to shoot a film in post-Soviet Russia and more generally to work there with fellow contemporary filmmakers. Here she also developed an interest in film editing, which would become essential to her practice as a filmmaker.
In 1993 her Lithuanian self produced documentary short, 17th of March, was awarded with the ‘Prix du Meilleur Reportage’ at the Festival of Angers (France) and distributed in the Dutch cinemas in 1996 alongside her feature film Memory of the Unknown (1996).
With another of these ‘diary’ shorts, 3 Januari (1998), this time inspired by the city of Rotterdam, she won the ‘Prix du Meilleur Film International’ at the Short Film Festival Coté Court (France).
In 2001, the International Film Festival Rotterdam comissioned her to make a short for the ‘Waterfront Project’. Alonso Casale filmed 11 November (2001) in St Petersburg (Russia). Throughout the years, she directed several similar short films.
Her feature debut Memory of the Unknown (1996) was shot in the Netherlands, France, and Spain. It was nominated for the Tiger Awards at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and in competition at the Ukrainian Molodost Film festival.
In 1996 she founded her own production company: Titanic Productions, which co- produced shorts such as Siesta, la Tetera y la Rosa (1998), Man looks at Woman, Woman looks at Man (2001), Bulle (2013) and the feature Figner, the End of a Silent Century (2006).
Between 2000 and 2006, Alonso Casale lived between Paris and St Petersburg. In Russia she directed the feature Figner, the End of a Silent Century (2006) which premiered both at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Locarno Film Festival as a Dutch/ Welsh/ French co-production. The film portrays a Russian foley artist on his journey through the present and the past throughout the 20th century.
She acted in films of fellow directors, among which the Argentine director Alejandro Agresti (El acto en Cuestion, 1993), Nanouk Leopold (Guernsey, 2005) and the Iranian director Ali Mohammad Ghasemi (The Dog and the Insane Lover, 2016) and edited several films, ranging from experimental shorts (HKG by Gerard Holthuis) to documentary (Het is een schone dag geweest by Jos de Putter) and feature fiction (Nothing Personal by Ursula Antoniak) films.
Within the Lab sessions of the Binger Film Institute in Amsterdam of which she graduated in 2007, she wrote a script based on the Dutch novel Werther Nieland by Gerard Reve.
In 2013 she founded with 3 fellow Rotterdam-based filmmakers The Intolerant Film Collective. In narrow collaboration, they have been developing several projects since.
Currently Alonso Casale is developing El Topo, a feature film focusing on the historical and personal consequences of the Spanish Civil War, based on the life story of the mayor of a Spanish hamlet who spent 40 years in hiding in order to survive. Since 2016 she also works as a Senior consultant for the NL Filmfonds.
Nathalie Alonso Casale is natively multilingual (French, Spanish, Dutch) and speaks fluent German and Russian.