Born to an American father and an Icelandic mother, Anspach spent most of her life living and working in France.
After studying philosophy and clinical psychology in Paris, she enrolled in La Fémis and graduated with a diploma in directing in 1989.
Her film Stormy Weather was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Anspach died after a long battle with breast cancer on 7 August 2015 at the age of 54.
“She was a brilliant filmmaker, a dear colleague, a generous friend,” said WGA West vice president Howard Rodman.
“Sólveig grew up in France, attended l’IDHEC/La Femis, and made films, many films, glorious and gloriously diverse. There was a documentary on a death-row inmate in Texas; a comedy of manners set in the marijuana-dealing community of Reykjavik and its sequel; a biopic of Paris Commune heroine Luise Michel.
Perhaps her most well-known film here, the 1999 Haut les Coeurs!, won a César for its lead Karin Viard.
It’s a quietly harrowing, deeply moving film about a woman who while pregnant discovers that she has breast cancer. Sadly, it was autobiographical.”