Claire Burger

I've never really doubted that I had the right to make cinema, but it's hard to fund stories that aren't necessarily spectacular.

Scarred by her complex adolescence, Claire Burger uses her personal story to produce a reinvigorating work. In just two feature films, she has become an unmissable film maker.

Updated on 08/01/2020

2 min

Originally from Forbach, a town in Lorraine in the heart of a working-class region, Claire Burger was born in 1978 and grew up in a family of civil servants, with a very feminist father and mother. Fascinated by the audiovisual industry, she became a journalist in her region without obtaining a degree before moving to Paris, where she enrolled at La Fémis (French National Graduate School of Image and Sound Professions), to study editing.


The film maker’s first forays into direction were as one half of a duo with Marie Amachoukeli. Together they made two short films –  C’est gratuit pour les filles (It's Free for Girls, 2009) and Demolition Party  (2013) - and then became a trio with Samuel Theis. From this came their first feature film, Party Girl (2014). In 2018, she wrote and was the sole director for C'est ça l'amour (Real Love).

Preferring faces to sets, Claire Burger favours close-ups to tell her stories. In the habit of using non-professional actors from her region, relatives or sometimes members of her film crew, the director shoots multiple takes to encourage her actors to forget her camera and feel free.


With Forbach (2008), she films her hometown, her favoured location, which she was so eager to leave to puruse her cinematic career. When she made the feature film Party Girl (2014), she portrayed a powerful, independent and free woman.


If she includes a part of herself in each of her works, it's probably in C'est ça l'amour (2018) that she gives the most of herself, inspired by the separation from her parents when she was a child. In this story, she talks about love in all its guises, through a family in crisis.

In only two feature films, Claire Burger has already gained world renown. She began her career with a sensational debut: as soon as she had graduated in editing in 2008 Claire Burger presented her graduation film, Forbach, at the Cannes Film Festival, where she received the Cinéfondation Award. Back on the scene six years later, she scooped the Caméra d'or Award and the Prix d’ensemble Un Certain Regard Award for Party Girl, her first feature film. The film maker had become a key figure in French cinema.


In the ascendant since the release of C'est ça, l'amour (2019), the film maker was crowned "Femme de cinéma" at the Arcs Film Festival after speaking out against the lack of parity in the industry. Regarded as a rare gem, in 2019 the director was invited to present her work at the City of Lights, City of Angels festival in Los Angeles, USA.

  • 2008


    Her first short film, "Forbach", is presented at the Cannes Film Festival.

  • 2010


    Claire Burger and Marie Amachoukeli win the César for Best Short Film with "C'est gratuit pour les filles".

  • 2014


    Claire Burger, Samuel Theis and Marie Amachoukeli receive a Caméra d'or Award at Cannes for "Party Girl".

  • 2018


    Claire Burger makes her first film as sole director with "C'est ça l’amour".

The Institut français and the project

Claire Burger's film C'est ça l'amour (2018) has been screened internationally by the Institut français.


The Institut français offers a catalogue of over 2,500 titles, enabling the French cultural network and its partners to screen French films around the world.

Learn more about the film catalogue

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