Benjamin Cantu is a film and television writer/director and creative producer and local of Berlin and Budapest. His films range from commissioned documentaries for public broadcasters, to feature-films with cinematic release, comedy 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 storytelling. The film won the Axel Springer prize for young journalists in 2008.
Benjamin’s feature-film debut, Harvest (Stadt Land Fluss, Edition Salzgeber), builds on a hybrid structure, that combines observational documentary with dramatic acting. It premiered on the 61st Berlinale – Generation 14Plus and won the Berlinale Teddy Reader’s Award and best feature on the Side-By-Side LGBT Filmfestival in Russia 2012. Benjamin’s more journalistic pieces include an award-winning documentary on HIV cure research for Arte/rbb and a film about the urbanization of refugee camps for Al Jazeera Documentaries.
Benjamin works closely with the producers Nils Bökamp and Felix Kriegsheim, within BOEKAMP & KRIEGSHEIM. 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 at LUPA FILM, on the production of fictional TV series and feature films. As creative producer Benjamin was involved in the production of Karim Aïnouz’ feature documentary THF – Central Airport (Berlinale Panorama 2018), Albert Serra’s feature film Liberté (Un Certain Regard 2019), the web series Just Push Abuba (ZDF), as well as the development of #Pricks (ZDF) and Miss Holocaust Survivor.
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.
Benjamin is represented by Pagemagnet Agency. www.pagemagnet.de