Benjamin Cantu is a film and television writer/director and creative producer. His films range from commissioned documentaries for public broadcasters, to feature-films with cinematic release and comedy series.
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.
Benjamin’s directorial 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 worked closely with the producers Nils Bökamp and Felix Kriegsheim, within BOEKAMP & KRIEGSHEIM as director and creative producer on documentary shows such as 1968mm (Arte, rbb) and Day Zero (Arte, SWR, WDR).
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 such Benjamin was part of the development of Karim Aïnouz’ feature documentary THF – Central Airport (Berlinale Panorama 2018), as well as Albert Serra’s feature film Liberté (Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2019).
Benjamin was the showrunner and co-director of the TV series Just Push Abuba (ZDF 2018), and development producer on the series #Pricks (ZDF, Arte 2020). Currently he develops the feature film Miss Holocaust Survivor with the writers Donna Sharpe and Raquel Stern.
Benjamin has a BA in Animation from the Filmuniversität Babelsberg and a diploma in directing from the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb). He 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.
During 67th Berlinale Benjamin was member of the international jury for the Generation 14Plus competition.
Benjamin is represented by Pagemagnet Agency. www.pagemagnet.de