Born in Amsterdam, Ilse Hughan studied Literature and Translation at the University of Amsterdam and worked for years as a Dutch translator of French and Italian movies. In 1992 she brought new life to the film company Fortuna Films, founded by her grandfather Jean Desmet in 1909. Hughan started as an international sales agent and eventually became involved in film production.
She is currently the managing director of Fortuna Films in Amsterdam, a production company for independent movies with a focus on films made in Latin America, and Vice-President of Fundación TyPA, a cultural foundation based in Buenos Aires. She also works for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) as a member of the Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) selection committee.
Fortuna Films co-produced Los muertos (2004) and Fantasma (2006), by Lisandro Alonso, and Hamaca paraguaya (2006), by Paz Encina. All three films were selected for the Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight or Un Certain Regard). Her latest co-production is Liverpool, also by Lisandro Alonso, shot in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) in July 2007. Liverpool was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2008.
She is a co-founder and co-director of the Buenos Aires Lab (BAL), the co-production market for Latin American film projects within the framework of the Bafici, and one of the two directors of the first edition of the Rondas Ficco Cinemex, a co-production market for Mexican projects which took place for the first time in February 2008 during the FICCO Film Festival in Mexico City.
She has participated in numerous seminars, workshops and juries at various film festivals, including Nyon, Utrecht, Buenos Aires (Bafici), Morelia, Biarritz, Mexico City (FICCO), Dubai and Rotterdam. She is a member of the Selection Committee for Locarno Festival’s Open Doors Programme.