Born into an affluent Orleans family of Italian descent, French filmmaker Erick Zonca belatedly discovered European movies in, of all places, New York City, where he had settled at the age of 20 with the naive notion of ridding himself of his accent and becoming an American actor. Deciding he could only make movies in France, he returned to his native land and later found work in TV, first as an unpaid intern, then as an assistant director helping to make sitcoms and documentaries for an independent production company. Zonca's first short, "Rives" (1992), did well on the festival circuit, as did "Eternelles" (1994), his second, and the prize money for the two helped finance a third, "Seule" (1996). He made an acclaimed feature debut with "The Dreamlife of Angels" (1998), a resounding success at Cannes, where his two lead actresses Elodie Bouchez and Natacha Regnier shared the festival's best actress award. The first draft for the picture suggested a four-hour movie, but the director cut it in half, the unfilmed portion becoming the basis for his next film, "Les Petits voleurs," commissioned by the French-German cultural television station, Arte.
Director (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
At age 20, went to NYC, where he stayed for three years before returning to France; worked in the kitchen of Umberto's Clam House and discovered European Cinema at the Bleecker Street Cinema (date approximate)
Began working in TV at age 30, first as an unpaid intern, then as an assistant director helping to make sitcoms and documentaries for an independent production company
Made first short film, "Rives"
Second short, "Eternelles"
Helmed third short, "Seule"
Feature debut, "The Dreamlife of Angels", a marvelous character study of two young women in an industrial town in northern France; received a 12-minute ovation at Cannes; selected as France's official entry for the 1998 Foriegn Language Film Academy Award
Directed the TV-movie "The Little Thief"; screened at film festivals