Benjamin Cantu is a German-Hungarian film and television writer/director and creative producer, based in Berlin and Budapest. His films range from commissioned documentaries for public broadcasters, to feature-films with cinematic release, TV series and dance-films.
The World Belongs to Chaim, a portrait of an orthodox Jewish boy in Budapest, set the tone for Benjamin’s sensitive and character-driven way of storytelling. His debut as feature-film director, Harvest (Stadt Land Fluss), builds on a hybrid structure, that combines observational documentary with dramatic acting. It premiered on the 61st Berlinale, Generation 14Plus with an ensuing worldwide distribution (Edition Salzgeber). While his more journalistic pieces include an award-winning documentary on HIV cure research for Arte/rbb and a film about the urbanization of refugee camps in Jordan for Al Jazeera Documentaries.
Benjamin works closely with the producers Nils Bökamp and Felix Kriegsheim, within Boekamp & Kriegsheim GmbH. Other collaborations include co-writing with Jasna Žmak on the feature film For Real, and a series of dance films with Kiriakos Hadjiioannou. Since 2017 Benjamin works as creative producer with Felix von Boehm, within Lupa Film in Berlin, on the production of several fictional TV series, such as Just Push Abuba.
Benjamin studied animation at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg. After his BA in 2002 he switched to directing studies at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb), where he received his diploma in 2010. Benjamin is an alumni of the Torino Film Lab (2013) and participant of EAVE (2016), as well as fellow of the Salzburg Global LGBT Forum. In 2015 Benjamin was artist in residence in Tel Aviv, by invitation of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Israel Filmfund.
In 2017 Benjamin was member of the international jury during the 67th Berlinale, for Generation 14Plus competition, along with the filmmakers Jennifer Reeder and Roberto Doveris.