is a Paris-based filmmaker and one of the major artistic voices of contemporary French cinema. She grew up partly in Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Djibouti as daughter of a French colonial official. Claire Denis enrolled in the Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques (today: La Fémis) where she graduated in 1971. At the beginning of her film career, she worked as an assistant director to Dušan Makavejev, Costa Gavras, Jacques Rivette, Jim Jarmusch and Wim Wenders. She made her film debut in 1988 with Chocolat, which takes place in an Africa on the brink of anti-colonialism. Her work deals with colonial and anti-colonial themes in West Africa, issues in modern France as well as the subjects of identity, origin and continued destabilisation. Denis’s film Nénette et Boni won the Golden Leopard in 1996 in Locarno, and her film Beau Travail was awarded the Louve d’or in 1999 in Montreal and for this film Denis received the prize for Best Director at the Geneva Festival Tous écrans. In 2009 Denis was invited to the competition of the 66th Venice Film Festival with her film White Material. Claire Denis is professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and at La Fémis in Paris.