International Competition

A Strange Love Affair with Ego

Ester Gould
Screening time  
22.02. / Monday, 13:00 - 15:00 Theatre 3  
24.02. / Wednesday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 5  
27.02. / Saturday, 19:00 - 21:00 Theatre 1  
Ester Gould explores modern society’s increasing obsession with the self.

Ever since she was a young child, filmmaker Ester Gould has been amazed by the sheer self-confidence of her older sister Rowan, whose boundless creativity and natural beauty tended to make everyone around her jealous. She has the world at her feet, and the universe is her playground. But can such a well-developed sense of your own worth go too far? Self-assurance is greatly valued – until it spills over into an unhealthy overestimation of the self. In this incisive, personal visual essay, Gould explores our society’s increasing obsession with the self. Thanks in part to social media, the pressure to have a fantastically successful life is ever greater; personal development seems to be the only thing that counts. The filmmaker follows a number of seemingly successful people going out, socializing as they reflect in conversations or interviews on the level of self-confidence they display and how this relates to their actual “self”. Meanwhile, dreamy re-enactments tell the story of the filmmaker’s sister Rowan, illustrated by excerpts from the sisters’ correspondence. 


Ester Gould

Ester Gould, born in 1975 in Scotland, studied film and television in Amsterdam and New York. Since 2005 she has been directing her own films. Filmography: A Strange Love Affair with Ego (2015), De Rekening van Catelijne (2012), David de Star (2011), Altijd Maar Dat Gezeik (2008), 50 Cent (2007). 

General sponsor

A Strange Love Affair with Ego

2015, 93'

Directed by:
Ester Gould

Screenplay by:
Ester Gould

Jean Counet

Edited by:
Katarina Türler

Marc Lizier

Joost Seelen

Produced by:
Zuidenwind FIlmproductions

Festivals & Awards:

IDFA 2015 – Beeld & Geluid Award for Best Dutch Documentary, AWFJ EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Film