Marco Kalantari considers himself a “professional dreamer,” but what makes his films so special is his ability to teleport viewers across the globe right into his dreamscapes with him. Whether a particular spot features high-octane cinematic action or relies entirely on down-to-earth human emotion, he hands all of us a ticket to a completely immersive experience.
Marco Kalantari’s filmmaking career roared to life thanks to a 2003 Cannes Silver Lion for his incredible Doctors Without Borders TV spot. Within the next year, his work vaulted him into position as one of Asia’s most in-demand directors, beginning with the Indian market but quickly expanding to China, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Japan.
Though Austrian by birth, Marco’s career has made him a citizen of the world, particularly in East Asia. He spent four years living in China, where he became fluent in Mandarin. Intensive work in other countries across the continents exposed him to a variety of cultures, customs, and languages—all of which he embraced at the time and still cherishes to this day. He moved to Tokyo in 2010 and has been based there ever since.
Marco’s films often enthrall us with their high-concept storytelling, adrenaline-rush action, and cinematic scale. But at the core of the feature film-worthy worlds he creates, his dedication to building relatable, fully realized characters on screen is ultimately what makes his work so memorable. His advertising reel includes spots for global brands like BMW, Chevrolet, HSBC, Nokia, Panasonic, and Pepsi. And the cinematic spirit in these commercials flows from Marco’s work as a feature film director. In 2006, Buena Vista International released his feature debut, Ainoa, and The Shaman—a short film Marco wrote, produced, and directed—premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015.