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Katja Esson is an Academy Award® nominated filmmaker based in New York City who mixes documentary and narrative genres. Esson began her career in Miami as a production assistant for the notorious rap group 2 Live Crew. Since her days of wrangling booty-shaking babes, Esson has directed a variety of award-winning documentaries and short films. Born and raised in Germany, Esson brings a quirky European sensibility to the distinctively American subjects she chooses. more »



Production starts on 5-part series for Arte: AMERICAN RIVERS (AMERIKAS FLÜSSE)


Production starts on CANTINEROS DE CUBA in Havana, Cuba


The 5-part series: BACKROADS USA (AMERIKAS LEGENDÄRE STRASSEN) premieres on Arte

The 5-part series: BACKROADS LATIN AMERICA is green-lit by Arte.

Location scout  in South-America for BACKROADS LATIN AMERICA (Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Cuba)


SKYDANCER premiers on PBS - "America Reframed", October 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

SKYDANCER  screens the Smithsonian in Washington DC as

POETRY OF RESILIENCE is nominated for the Cinema for Peace Award, Berlin Film Festival

SKYDANCER is nominated for EDA Award, Salem Film Festival  2012 

SKYDANCER is nominated for best Documentary at Guanajuato International Film Festival

SKYDANCER is nominated for Best Film on Indigenous People at Pärnu International Film Festival        


SKYDANCER premiers at the Margaret Mead Festival, New York City

POETRY OF RESILIENCE wins ‘BEST SHORT DOC’ at Woodstock Film Festival

POETRY OF RESILIENCE premieres at Oscar-qualifying DocuWeeks in Los Angeles

THE OLDEST PROFESSION (Das Älteste Gewerbe) wins Silver Screen at US Film and Video Festival


We are New York is nominated for 4 Emmys Awards