Aya Domenig

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Aya Domenig
OccupationAnthropologist and filmmaker
Years active1999–present
Notable work
Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel

Aya Domenig (born 1972) is a filmmaker and anthropologist of JapaneseSwiss origin.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Kameoka, Kyoto,[1] Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, Aya Domenig has joint Swiss and Japanese citizenship.[2] Her mother is of Japanese origin, Domenig's father is Swiss, and her grandfather, Shigeru Doi, worked at the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.[3]

In 1976 Domenig's parents moved to Switzerland, where they lived in Kilchberg and in Zürich-Hottingen.[4] She attended a gymnasium in Zürich, and from 1992 to 2000 she studied Social Anthropology, Film Studies and Japanology at the University of Zurich. Earning an Monbushô scholarship by the Government of Japan,[1] in 1996/97 Aya Domenig attended the Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Aya Domenig's practical experiences include language stays in France and Japan at the Sendagaya Japanese Institute, she made two internships and also worked as translator. Domenig graduated in Visual Anthropology in 2000, and in 2001 Domenig attended the film and video department at the ZHdK University Zürich where she graduated in 2005,[2] producing the short fiction film Haru Ichiban (Spring Storm) in co-operation with the Osaka University of Arts and Visual Media (Osaka Geijutsu Daigaku).[1]


Aya Domenig published a social study treating the relevance of the Swiss novel Heidi in 2001, and in 2007 she participated a study related to the funeral culture on behalf of the government of the city of Zürich.[5]

Aya Domenig's first documentary film was Oyakata - The Master, her graduation work in 1999, which was presented in 2000 and 2001 at film festivals in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, in the UK and USA.[1][6] Her 2015 documentary film Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel was supported by the Swiss film subsidy (Filmstiftung) of the Canton of Zürich for research and production,[7] and produced by ican films gmbh and Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF). Since I was a teenager, I always wanted to know more about the background of my grandfather.[8] Aya Domenig tells in her first feature film the fate of her grandfather who worked as doctor after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 in a Red Cross hospital in Hiroshima. While researching her film in the Hiroshima Prefecture, on 11 March 2011 the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred, and Domenig decided to expand her project.[9][10] The documentary film premiered at the Festival del film Locarno on 9 August 2015.[10][11][12]

Filmography (selected works)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Oyakata - Der Lehrmeister as director
2002 Je t'aime as director, writer and editor
2004 Ein Tor für die Revolution as cinematographer
2004 Hitoritabi (Iio-san's Journey) as director, writer and editor
2005 Haru Ichiban - Spring Storm as director, editor and writer
2006 Zeit des Abschieds as editor[13]
2011 Mürners Universum as writer
2015 Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel Herself as director and writer



  • 2000: Internationales ethnografisches Filmfestival IWF, Göttingen, Germany.[1]
  • 2000: 7th International Festival of Ethnographic Film, London, England.[1]
  • 2001: 36th Solothurner Filmtage, Solothurn, Switzerland.[1]
  • 2001: University of Texas, Festival of Ethnographic Film, Texas, USA.[1]

Je t’aime:

  • 2002: Schweizerisches Film- und Videofestival Spiez, Spiez, Switzerland.[1]
  • 2002: Vevey Images `02, Vevey, Switzerland.[1]
  • 2002: Festival der Nationen, Ebensee, Austria.[1]

Haru Ichiban:

  • 2005: Locarno International Film Festival, Locarno, Switzerland.[1]
  • 2005: 'Internationale Kurzfilmtage, Winterthur, Switzerland.[14]
  • 2006: Solothurner Filmtage, Solothurn, Switzerland.[14]
  • 2006: Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Stuttgart, Germany.[14]
  • 2006: FIPA Biarritz, Biarritz, France.[14]
  • 2006: Premier Plans, Festival d’Angers, France.[14]
  • 2006: International Short Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, France.[14]
  • 2006: Worldwide Student Film Festival, Potsdam-Babelsberg, Germany.[14]
  • 2006: Festival du Film Court de Lille, France.[14]
  • 2006: Poitiers International Film Schools Festival, Poitiers, France.[14]
  • 2006: Mediawave International Film and Music Gathering, Hungary.[14]

Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel:


  • 2000: JVC Student Video Prize for Oyakata.[1]
  • 2002: Goldener Drachen („bemerkenswerter Spielfilm") for Je t’aime.[1]
  • 2006: Prix Cinécinéma (Premier Plans, Festival d’Angers) for Haru Ichiban.[14]
  • 2016: Swiss Film Award nomination Best Documentary Film and Best Film Score for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.[15]
  • 2016: Swiss Film Award for Best Film Score (Beste Musik) for Marcel Vaid.[14][16]
  • 2016: Tokyo, Green Image Film Festival, Green Image Award for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.
  • 2016: Schwerin, Filmkunstfest Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Special Mention for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.
  • 2016: Paris, Festival International Jean Rouch, Prix Mario Ruspoli for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.
  • 2016: Paris, Festival International Jean Rouch, Prix Anthropologie et Developement Durable for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.
  • 2016: Gilching, Fünf Seen Filmfestival, Horizonte Filmpreis for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.
  • 2016: Bozen, Bozner Filmtage, Lobende Erwähnung for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.
  • 2016: Bozcaada, Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary, Fethi Kayaalp Grand Prize - 2nd Prize for Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel.


  • Aya Domenig: „Cute Heidi“. Zur Rezeption von Heidi in Japan. In: Heidi. Karrieren einer Figur (p. 149-165). Offizin, Zürich 2001, ISBN 3-907496-09-4.


  • Ins Landesinnere und darüber hinaus. Perspektiven des Schweizer Dokumentarfilms – 14 Porträts. Published by Schweizer Feuilletondienst (SFD). Limmat Verlag, Zürich 2014, ISBN 978-3-85791-747-9.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Diplomfilme - Haru Ichiban (Frühlingssturm)". Zürcher Hochschule der Künste. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Aya Domenig". swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  3. ^ Takuro Noguchi (22 October 2012). "Swiss filmmaker making documentary on A-bomb survivors". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Auf den Spuren der Vergangenheit: Aya Domenig über ihren Dokumentarfilm "Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel"" (in German). westnetz.ch. 15 January 2016. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Wandel der Bestattungskultur in der Stadt Zürich" (in German). Präsidialdepartement der Stadt Zürich. 10 September 2007. Archived from the original on 20 April 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  6. ^ Sascha Renner (27 September 2007). "Das kleine Zürcher Filmwunder" (in German). uzh.ch. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel" (in German). filmstiftung.ch. Retrieved 8 August 2015.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Giorgia Del Don (21 August 2015). "Aya Domenig Director". cineuropa.org. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Tragödie einer ganzen Generation" (in German). 10vor10. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel". swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel". Festival del film Locarno. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Spurensuche in Hiroshima: Als die Sonne vom Himmel fiel" (in German). Der Landbote via sda. 9 August 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Zeit des Abschieds" (in German). viennale.at. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "News and screenings". Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Nominations for the 2016 Swiss Film Award". Swiss Film Award. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  16. ^ "Best Film Score 2016". Swiss Film Award. Archived from the original on 1 April 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-20.

External links[edit]