30 april, 1956
Lars von Trier is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He is closely associated with the Dogme 95 collective – an avant-garde filmmaking movement – although his own films have taken a variety of approaches. His work has frequently divided critical opinion.
Von Trier began making films at the age of eleven. Raised by a communist mother and a socialist father in an austere environment, he converted at the age of 30 to the Catholic Church. Von Trier suffers periodically from depression, as well as various fears and phobias, including an intense fear of flying. As he himself said in an interview, "basically, I'm afraid of everything in life, except filmmaking." His first publicly released film was an experimental short called The Orchid Gardener (1977) and his first feature film came seven years later with The Element of Crime (1984). Among many other prizes, awards and nominations, he is the recipient of the Palme d'Or (for Dancer in the Dark), the Grand Prix, and the Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film Festival.