Born: September 19, 1949
Date of Birth: September 19, 1949
British-born Potter became interested in movie making at an early age. In her teens, she began making experimental short films while training as a dancer and choreographer at the London School of Contemporary Dance. Creating her own company, she made a number of short dance films for her school.
After graduating she became an award-winning performance artist and theater director. She created solo shows and large-scale theatrical performances including Death and the Maiden and Mounting. Potter also nourished her musical talents by working as a lyricist and singer with a number of music bands.
By 1979 she directed her first film, Thriller, a 45-minute critical re-working of the opera La Bohème. She followed that a few years later with her first feature, The Gold Digger (1983). The film earned her a Reader Jury of the "Zitty" award from the Berlin International Film Festival. She then worked on Tears, Laughter, Fears and Rage -- a documentary series for television.
It wasn't until 1992 that audiences around the world started to sit up and take notice of the director, when she released Orlando. A film she directed, wrote and composed, it starred Tilda Swinton, and was based on Virginia Woolf's classic novel. For her work she received two Oscar nominations, a European Film Award for Best Young Film and numerous other awards from festivals around the world. Five years later she not only directed, wrote and co-composed the score for The Tango Lesson, but took a small role in front of the camera for the first time. The film was an immediate success, garnering awards from around the world.
In 2000 she completed The Man Who Cried, starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci and Cate Blanchett, a story set in Paris pre-WWII, about the world of opera. The film received a Golden Lion nomination at the Venice Film Festival.