Name
Franco de Peña
Country
Venezuela
Franco de Peña was born in 1966 in Caracas, Venezuela. After studying Economics in Caracas and Montreal for four years, Franco de Peña changed subjects, enrolling at the school of the Polish National Theatre in Warsaw in 1988. He studied Drama there until 1990, working as an actor and also completing a period as assistant to the theatre director Janusz Wisniewski. In 1992 de Peña began to study Film Direction at the renowned film academy in ?ód?; whilst also beginning his current work for Polish television. During his study in ?ód?, he realised the short films "The whispers of the wind" (1995) and "The future of an illusion" (1997), for which he won numerous prizes at international festivals. Franco de Peña spent the year 2000 in Berlin on a fellowship from the Artists-in-Berlin Programme.

"Love in Concrete" is Franco de Peña’s first feature film; three episodes recounting tragic yet comic love stories spanning over a single night on Caracas’ busy main street Avenida Libertador. The film was premiered at the Cannes film festival in 2003 – remarkable for a debut film – and received several international prizes, including the award for the Best Direction at the 29th Ibero-American Festival of Huelva.

In 2004, Franco de Peña worked on the collective documentary film "Welcome to São Paulo", marking the 450th anniversary celebrations of the Brazilian capital. A year later he went on to direct the Polish-Luxembourgian co-production "Your name is Justine" (2005), which is based on his own screenplay. It tells of the tragic fate of a Polish woman Mariola, who gullibly follows her boyfriend Artur to Berlin and once there is forced into prostitution. Franco de Peña lives alternately in Caracas and Poland.