BAlice Rohrwacher, born 29 December 1980, is an Italian film director and screenwriter. She was born in Fiesole, in Tuscany, to an Italian mother and a German father. She spent her youth in the city of Castel Giorgio, where her mother was born and his father Reinhard worked as a beekeeper. She is the sister of the Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher. She studied literature and philosophy at the University of Turin and then specialized in screenwriting at the Holden School of Turin. Her first experience in filmmaking was in 2006, when directing a part of the Italian documentary Checosamanca. In 2011, she directed her first feature film titled 'Heavenly Body', which premiered at the Directors' Fortnight during the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was critically acclaimed.
Her second feature film, Le meraviglie (The Wonders), was in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Being so young and one of only two women competing at the Cannes, she said, “I dislike talking in terms of gender, male and female, young and old. I think each experience has its own value. I am younger than the average Italian filmmaker, and this has negative and positive aspects. In terms of the positive, you have nothing to lose. You can really throw yourself in and take risks. You're free. But everything is a bit more black and white at this age, maybe.”
Alice Rohrwacher started at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011 with Corpo celeste, selected during Directors' Fortnight, then went on to more international film festivals including Sundance, London, New York, Rio and Karlowy Vary. The film was nominated for a best emerging director David di Donatello in 2012 and won the Ingmar Bergman Award for best international debut and a Nastro d'Argento and a Ciak d'Oro for best Italian debut. It was distributed in the UK, the US, France, Switzerland, Australia, South America and Portugal.
Le meraviglie sees the director's sister, Alba Rohrwacher, star with Monica Bellucci, Maria Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Sabine Timoteo and Agnese Graziani. The story traces the summer of four sisters, headed by Gelsomina, the oldest, as they inherit a small and strange piece of land their father has built on in order to save them from the world, “which is about to end.” The summer is an extraordinary one, where rules keeping the family together loosen. Martin, a German boy in a rehabilitation programme enters their life and a television programme headed by icon Milly Catena is being filmed in the area.
Just like her first film, Le meraviglie is produced by Carlo Cresto-Dina with Tempesta Film, in collaboration with Rai Cinema and many others in Switzerland and Germany. Its distribution began in Italy on May 22 this year. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded with the Grand Prix, an award of the Cannes Film Festival bestowed by the jury of the festival on one of the competing feature films. It is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d'Or.