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Born in Ireland, Lenny Abrahamson started shooting shorts while studying philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. After a period of post-graduate study in philosophy at Stanford University in California, he returned home to concentrate on filmmaking. 'What Richard Did' (2011) and 'Frank' (2014) are his most recognised films.
Writer, director and actor Desiree Akhaven has made her name as a significant presence among a new wave of female filmmakers with her hilarious feature debut 'Appropriate Behavior'.
Fatih Akin was born in 1973 in Hamburg to Turkish parents. He studied Visual Communications at Hamburg's College of Fine Arts where he wrote and directed several award-winning shorts. His 2003 feature 'Gegen Die Wand' won the Berlinale Golden Bear, as well as Best Film at the German and European Film Awards.
His early films were slapstick, his work rate is prodigious, his more recent output is varied, but no one can deny Woody Allen's position as an auteur and one of the most important American directors since the 1970s. His greatest film is open to debate, but he has long reckoned it to be his lovely, bittersweet 1985 comedy drama 'The Purple Rose of Cairo'.
Dario Argento is an Italian director, producer and screenwriter. Born in 1940, he collaborated with Segio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci on the story for 'One Upon A Time in the West' (1969). As a director, his stylish and violent 'giallo' films such as 'Suspiria' (1977) and 'Deep Red' (1975) have made him one of the most influential horror filmmakers of all time.
Olivier Assayas was born in 1955 in Paris. His father, the director Raymond Assayas, helped him find a job in the film industry by giving him various screenwriting jobs. He started directing in 1986 as well as writing for the legendary French film magazine, Cahiers du Cinéma. After a series of his successful films screened in Cannes, he became a member of the festival's jury in 2011.