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Katja Esson is an Academy Award® nominated independent filmmaker based in New York City who mixes documentary and narrative genres. Her films have been shown around the world and aired on stations like HBO, PBS and ARTE more »



Skydancer premiers on PBS - "America Reframed", October 2012

Skydancer's Canadian broadcast premiere on APTN - "Reel Insights", October 2012

Poetry of Resilience at the Princess Grace Foundation in Monaco, September 2012

Skydancer is nominated for the Magnolia Award (Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Camera ) at the Shanghai TV and Film Festival, June 2012

Katja Esson nominated for United States Artists Fellowship

"Ferry Tales" on the Documentary Channel

"Skydancer" and "Poetry of Resilience" are picked up by distributor Women Make Movies

"Skydancer" at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, March

"Poetry of Resilience" continues festival circuit at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Sarasota International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Short Film Festival.

"Skydancer": Nominee, EDA Award for the Best Female-Directed Film, 2012 Salem Film Fest, March

"Skydancer" screens in Prague at one of the biggest International Human Rights Film Festivals ONE WORLD, March

"Poetry of Resilience" is nominated for the Cinema for Peace Award, during the Berlin Film Festival, February


"Backroads USA" starts filming in October in the New England States.

"Skydancer" Soundtrack is now available at CDBaby.com!

"Skydancer" at Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Arkansas

"Skydancer" at the Margaret Mead Festival (Museum of Natural History), New York City

"Poetry of Resilience" wins at Woodstock Film Festival

"Hooker Harlot Whore" wins Silver Screen at US Film and Video Festival

"Poetry of Resilience" at the Oscar-qualifying DocuWeeks in Los Angeles, August

"Skydancer" premieres in New York at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in June.

"Skydancer" has its ‘Sneak Preview’ at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Montana in March


Latching On is distributed by Women Make Movies... more »

We are New York nominated for 4 Emmys Awards

The Oldest Profession is broadcast on ARTE 2/28/10

Poetry of Resilience receives NYSCA grant


The Oldest Profession wraps after shooting in France, Italy, Greece, England and Germany.

Katja Esson directs the episode »The Wedding« for We Are New York for the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education and the City University of New York, Office of Academic Affairs.


Poetry of Resilience received a Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in June 2008

Skydancer received a Jerome Foundation Grant in May 2008

Skydancer was invited to pitch at HOT DOCS Toronto Documentary Forum in April 2008

Institut Francais, London · One of the leading Arab writers living in the UK. Lebanese novelist Hanan Al-Shaykh will open a discussion around her short story A Season of Madness and the film adaptation by Katja Esson, screened immediately before the talk... more »


Katja Esson is awarded the Simons Fellowship for the Humanities at Kansas University

Nomination for the Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship

Honor Membership in the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta

Ferry Tales now available on DVD, Women make Movies, more »

Ferry Tales is chosen for AOL True Stories (Watch the film online, read the blog by the Ferry Women

and many extras) more »

Ferry Tales opens the Reel New York Film Festival on Channel Thirteen/WNET New York more »

Hole in the Sky – The Scars of 9/11 wins Gold Award for Best Documentary at the World Media

Festival in Germany