Danish director Susanne Bier is to receive the the honorary European Achievement in World Cinema award from the European Film Academy at this year’s European Film Awards to take place in Berlin on December 11.
Bier is the first female director to win a European Film Award, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy.
She started her career with Freud Leaving Home, the story of a Jewish woman who still lives with her parents in Stockholm at the age of 25, which received the 1991 Dragon Award in Gothenburg.
Bier’s further achievements include winning the 2002 Fipresci award in Toronto for her feature Open Hearts, which starred Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Mads Mikkelsen, about a bad car accident that leaves a husband paralysed from the neck down. Brothers, about two siblings and the psychological effects of war, went on to pick up the 2005 audience award in Sundance.
In A Better World with Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, and Ulrich Thomsen, about the intertwined lives of two. Danish families, won Bier an Academy Award for best foreign-language film, as well as the director award at the 2011 European Film Awards.
Her other films include After The Wedding, Love Is All You Need, Serena and A Second Chance.
In 2016, she directed her first TV series with the BBC/AMC co-production The Night Manager, an adaptation of John Le Carre’s novel starring Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman. This was followed by Netflix’s Bird Box and HBO miniseries The Undoing.
In 2022 she will direct The First Lady for Showtime, a drama series following the lives of American first ladies, starring Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson and Kiefer Sutherland.