Houda Benyamina (b. 1981, Viry-Châtillon, France) had to fight her way into the director’s chair on her own. She graduated in acting from École Régionale d’Acteurs de Cannes, after which she attended workshops at the Academy in Minsk and New York’s Actors’ Studio. She gained experience in directing through the 1000 Visages (1000 Faces) organization, which she helped establish in 2006 as a means to democratize the filmmaking process by affiliating and supporting young talents from underprivileged backgrounds. In 2008, she completed her first short film Ma poubelle géante. Her next film, the medium-length Sur la route du paradis(2012), won the International Jury Award at the Festival of Francophone Films in Namur, followed by the Critics’ Award and the Muhr Arab Short Film Award in Dubai. Her feature film debut Divines won the Caméra d’Or at this year’s Cannes festival.
Source: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2016