Dominique Othenin-Girard

Dominique Othenin-Girard (born 13 February 1958) is a Swiss-French film director, producer and screenwriter. He is known for films such as Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, The Crusaders and After Darkness which was nominated for a Golden Bear Award. Othenin-Girard is also active in promoting awareness for Down syndrome.

Dominique Othenin-Girard
Dominique Othenin-Girard.jpg
Born (1958-02-13) 13 February 1958 (age 63)
NationalitySwiss, French
Alma materLondon Film School
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter
Years active1981-present

Early yearsEdit

Dominique Othenin-Girard was born in 1958 in Le Locle, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to French painter Ivan Othenin-Girard and Sonia Calame. His early years were spent traveling to lands that were in culturally different from his native Switzerland; first for an extended stay in Greece and then to live in Iran where his father established the Fine Arts Program in Tehran.[1] At 7 years old he returned to Switzerland with his mother, brother and sister, where he remained until going to the United States as an exchange student when he was 16 years old. He began studying photography and was accepted at the London Film School.

Film directorEdit

Othenin-Girard graduated from the London Film School with a Masters of Arts in directing and editing.[citation needed] In 1982 he founded his own production company, Dog Productions, to produce, write and direct his first feature film, the psychosocial thriller After Darkness (1984), which was nominated for a Golden Bear at the 35th Berlin International Film Festival.[2] He continued to direct film for the TSR and British HTV until 1987 when he moved to Los Angeles. An opportunity to direct the horror movie Night Angel showed Othenin-Girard's talent in this genre, and he went on to direct and co-write Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers.

In 1990, Othenin-Girard’s sister-in-law, who has Down syndrome, moved in with his family. This inspired him to tell the story of a family with a child with Down's syndrome. To accomplish this he founded the production company Alhena Films SA in Los Angeles to co-write and direct the family drama Sandra: c’est la vie (1992). He took this theme up again by co-writing and directing the German television film Florian: Love with All His Heart, which was RTL's highest rated film[citation needed] and received praise from Down syndrome advocate groups.[3]

In the 1990s and 2000s Othenin-Girard worked in Germany, the US, and Italy, directing films on topics as diverse as organ transplant and action thrillers. During this period one of his major works was The Crusaders, an epic romantic miniseries about the Christian crusaders in the 11th century. He continued producing film for television, for RTS.[4]

After 35 years mostly outside his native land he returned to Switzerland in 2010 to direct, co-create and co-write a 4-hour historical docudrama, Les Suisses, chronicling the history of the Swiss Federation from the 14th to the 19th century.[5] The epic story would take three years to complete and was shot French, German, and Italian; it would represent Othenin-Girard's tribute to his homeland.

In the winter of 1999, Othenin-Girard first traveled to China. In 2007 Othenin-Girard went to Shanghai when his film 1200 Der Todestunnel (2004) inspired by the Mont Blanc Tunnel tragedy was nominated for the Shanghai Magnolia Award.[6] These trips were only the start of many which would culminate in a more permanent move. Othenin-Girard is now based in China where he is collaborating with local production companies[7] and is involved in writing and directing his next feature films.

Theatre directorEdit

In 2012, Othenin-Girard produced and directed the one woman show by Rachel Monnat "Rachel et ses Amants". The performance work went to the 2013 Avignon Theater Festival and received rave reviews in the press,[8] before beginning a European Tour (2014).

Currently, Othenin-Girard is one of the Artist committed to the Khloros International Concerts.[9] In 2013 he directed the Khloros Concert "Siem Réap" in Angkor Vat, which was aired live and transmitted in Phnom Peng Royal Park, in 2014, he co-directed the filming of the Khloros Concert at the Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing, (with ARTE and CCTV[7]) and in 2015, Othenin-Girard will direct the German opera "Freischutz" (Weber) at the Guangzhou Opera House.


  • After Darkness (1985, with Sergio Guerraz)
  • Cop Trap "Piège à flics" (1985)
  • The Hospice (1987)
  • Night Angel (1988, released 1990)
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
  • Omen IV: The Awakening (1991, with Jorge Montesi)
  • Double or Nothing (1993, segment of Red Shoe Diaries)
  • Sandra, C'est La Vie "Ich gehöre zu Dir" (1993, Television)
  • The Best is Yet to Come (1993)
  • Beyond Desire (1995, straight-to-video)
  • Murdering Twins "Morderische Zwillinge" (1995)
  • Venus Murder "Der Venusmörder" (1996, Television Film)
  • Adrenaline (1996, Television Film)
  • Maria, the Holy Whore "Die heilige Hure" (1997)
  • A Change of Heart "Die Fremde in meiner Brust" (1998)
  • Florian (1999, Television Film)
  • Love Conquers All "Liebe ist stärker als der Tod (1999, Television Film)
  • The Crusaders (2001, TV Miniseries)
  • 1200° Der Todestunnel (2004)
  • The Chef of the Unexpected "Le Cuisinier de l'Inattendu" (2005)
  • Henry Dunant: Red on the Cross (2006)
  • Dirty Money: Undercover (2007)
  • On the Trail of Wangari Maathai (2009)
  • The Swiss "Die Schweizer" (2013)

Nominations and awardsEdit

(For films directed, including category of best actor)

Year Film Nomination/Award
2014 The Swiss Nominated for Prix Walo Best TV Series[10]
2009 Henry Dunant : Red on the Cross Winner Mos Film Studio Award in Budapest / Winner of Swiss Film Award «Quartz», 12e Festival international du cinéma et de télévision
2008 1200° Der Todestunnel Nominated for the Shanghai Magnolia Award: Best TV Film – Dominique Othenin-Girard/ Best Actress – Aglaia Szyszkowitz/ Best Director - Dominique Othenin-Girard
1999 Florian: Love with All His Heart Winner of the Robert Geisendoerfer Award[11]
1998 Die Helige Hure Nominated 3Sat Audience Award (Germany)
1993 Sandra, C’est La Vie Winner 1st Prize Kinderfilm Festival (Essen, Germany), Winner European Prize for International understanding (Germany), Winner for Best Actress - Lisa Fusco Kinderfilm Festival (Germany)
1987 Cop Trap Winner Sept D’Or, Best Crime Thriller (France)
1985 After Darkness Nominated for the Golden Bear Berlin International Film Festival/ Winner of "Quality Prize" awarded by the Swiss Government


  1. ^ "Ivan Othenin Girard : le peintre astrologue". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Berlinale: 1985 Programme". Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-30. Retrieved 2014-09-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "LE REALISATEUR : DOMINIQUE OTHENIN-GIRARD". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Les Suisses". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Shanghai International TV Festival (2006)". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Successful filming! Many thanks to CCTV, Arte Live Web and the Forbidden City! - Le khloros concert". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-03. Retrieved 2014-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Dominique Othenin-GirardCinéaste – Réalisateur - Le khloros concert". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2014-09-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Robert Geisendörfer Preis". Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2017.

External linksEdit