Director and scriptwriter Katariina Lillqvist was born in 1963 in Tampere, Finland, and currently lives and works in the Czech Republic. After studying filmmaking, she began editing documentaries for television before moving to Prague in 1989. While working at the Trnka Studios she acquired extensive skills in puppet animation. She then began directing her own puppet films in 1991. After a tentative beginning with Marie, she continued to develop further with each new film, drawing inspiration from the works of Franz Kafka. Her film The Country Doctor won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1996.
Lillqvist chairs the Finnish/Czech film co-operative Camera Cagliostro, is a producer at the Czech animation studio Mamiwata, and the driving force behind the Prague Puppet Museum. Between 2001 and 2003 she made a puppet animation series for TV entitled Tales from the Endless Road, which was based on ancient Romani folk tales (the episodes are called Prologue, Tales from the Endless Road; The Romany Mirror; The Legend of Black Sarah; The Dog of Balthasar; and Song of the Gallows).
In 2004 she made Romaniteatteri (Romanytheater) about Czech Romani refugees, and in 2008 she directed a sixty-minute film about the history and culture of the Finnish Roma, Eihän tämä maa minun omani ollut part (This Country Was Not Mine).
Currently, Lillqvist is participating in A Train to Spain, a mixed-media travelling installation produced by Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish filmmakers in conjunction with German, Belgian, French and Spanish guest artists. In March 2015 Lillqvist released her puppet animation Baby-Box, a black comedy portraying the abandoned children of a post-socialistic society.
Filmography / Awards
1991 Marie: Mechanical Metamorphoses, TV movie
1992 Rider on a Bucket, TV short film, special prize in the National Competition at the Tampere International Short Film Festival
1993 Marie II: An Anatomical Minuet, TV movie
1994 The Chamber Stork, short film, Bronze Dragon Award, Krakow Film Festival
1995 The Maiden and the Soldier, short film, awarded main prize in the Finnish Short Film Under 30 Minutes section and special prize in the International competition at the Tampere International Short Film Festival
1995 The Country Doctor, short film, won Silver Bear Award and nominated for Golden Bear Award in the Best Short Film category at the Berlin International Film Festival
1999 Xenia of St. Petersburg, short film, won main prize in the Finnish Short Film Under 30 Minutes category
2000 Thunderdrum, documentary short
2001 Mire Bala Kale Hin / Tales from the Endless Road / Tarinoita Matkan Takaa, TV series
The Romany Mirror, short film
Legend of the Black Sarah, short film
Song of the Gallows, short film
2003 Balthasar’s Dog, short film
Dear Mr. Tarzan, documentary short film
The Twelve Months, short film
2008 This Country Was Not Mine / Eihän tämä maa minun omani ollut, documentary
The Butterfly from Ural, short film, nomination for the Annecy Cristal, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, won Best Animation in the Finnish Short Film Under 30 Minutes category at the Tampere International Short Film Festival
2011 Faruza, short film