IRJA VON BERNSTORFF
Irja is an award-winning documentary producer-director. She has worked for ARD, ZDF, ARTE , ProSieben, NHK , numerous NGO’s and she has directed commercial films for international companies with a focus on sustainability. In 2013 Irja moved to Bhutan, where she was the first foreigner to direct a 25-episode series for the Bhutanese National Broadcaster BBS called “The Farmer – Sonam Zhingpa”.
The feature-length documentary “The Farmer and I” reflects her personal experience in Bhutan, premiered 2016 on the Max-Ophüls Film Festival and had a theatrical release in German cinemas. It won Best Documentary Film at the Polish International Film Festival and the Hollywood International Independent Film Festival.
Since 2016 she has produced and directed several documentaries on children in challenging situations that have aired on KIKA/SWR. Her portrait on a child forced to work in a tannery in Bangladesh called “Ridoy” (30 min) was awarded one of the ten best children film productions in 2018/2019 by German National Broadcaster ARD.
Irja just finished producing and directing a 45 min film about Bhutan in changing times, which is a co-production between NDR and ARTE. Currently, she is working on an international feature-length documentary on children who are environmental activists, fighting to save their homes and their communities.