Nicolas Steiner was born in 1984 in Switzerland and grew up in a small village in Valais, the Southern Mountain part of Switzerland. During his time at high school he worked as a gravedigger, played drums in various bands and did his military service as an army percussionist. In 2005/06 he attended the European Film College in Denmark before studying Ethnology and Film Studies for a year at the University of Zurich. As of 2007 he learnt a director‘s handicraft at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. His successful short, “It’s me. Helmut” was shown at over 240 festivals in all five continents and received 42 prizes and honorary mentions, including a nomination for the 2010 German Short Film Prize. “It’s me. Helmut” was screened at museum and gallery exhibitions of his photography. In 2010 he received a Fulbright scholarship to San Francisco Art Institute, where he dedicated most of his time to analogue photography and developing board games. He spent 2014 as Valais Canton’s Artist in Residence in Brooklyn, NYC. “Above and Below” is his Film Academy graduation piece and also his feature-length directorial debut.
Director: Above and Below
Blurring the lines between fiction and documentary, this mesmerising and beautifully shot film follows five survivors through their daily hustle in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world – although the reality is that they are simply living on the margins of contemporary America.