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Sally Potter

Sally Potter started making experimental short films when she was a teenager. She then trained as a dancer and choreographer at the London School of Contemporary Dance, before founding her own company, The Limited Dance Company (with Jacky Lansley). During the same period Sally made several short dance films, including Combines, for The London Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Sally went on to become an award-winning performance artist and theatre director with a reputation for work that managed to be both challenging and entertaining. For the theatre, Sally created solo shows as well as large-scale theatrical performances for outdoor locations including, Mounting, Death and the Maiden and Berlin all collaborations with Rose English. In addition, she worked in various improvised music bands as a lyricist and singer and collaborated with composer Lindsay Cooper on the song cycle, Oh Moscow which she performed throughout Europe, Russia and North America. She also co-composed with David Motion the soundtrack to ORLANDO, and created the score for THE TANGO LESSON.

Sally's short film THRILLER (1979), a critical re-working of Puccini's opera La Bohème, was a hit on the international festival circuit and brought her work to a wider audience. This was followed by her first feature film, THE GOLD DIGGERS (1983), starring Julie Christie; and then a short film, THE LONDON STORY (1986); a documentary series for Channel 4, TEARS, LAUGHTER, FEARS AND RAGE (1986); and her film on women in Soviet cinema, I AM AN OX, I AM A HORSE, I AM A MAN, I AM A WOMAN (1988).

The internationally acclaimed ORLANDO (1992), starred Tilda Swinton and was based on Virginia Woolf's classic novel. In addition to two Academy Award nominations, ORLANDO won more than 25 international awards, including the Felix awarded by the European Film Academy for the best Young European Film of 1993. Audiences around the world delighted in its wry humor and its bold look at gender, sexuality and the English class system.

After completing ORLANDO, Sally returned to script writing (including the first draft of THE MAN WHO CRIED). In 1997 she wrote and directed THE TANGO LESSON, in which she also performed together with renowned tango dancer, Pablo Veron. Presented at the Venice Film Festival, the film received critical and audience acclaim. THE TANGO LESSON was awarded the Ombú de Oro for Best Film at Mar del Plata Festival, Argentina, the SADAIC Great Award from the Sociedad Argentina de Autores y Compositores de Música, as well as nominations from BAFTA and the US National Board of Review.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2000.

Sally Potter Facts

BirthdaySeptember 19, 1949 (74)
BirthplaceLondon, England, United Kingdom

Selected Filmography

Ginger & Rosa
The Man Who Cried
The Tango Lesson
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