Film director Pia Marais grew up in South Africa, Sweden, and Spain. She studied sculpture and photography at art academies in London, Amsterdam and finally the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf before going on to study film at the Deutsche Film und Fernsehakademie (DFFB) in Berlin. She made several shorts, including Loop (1996), Deranged (1998), Tricky People (1999), and 17 (2003), and after several engagements in film business as a casting director and assistant director, made her feature debut with The Unpolished (2007), which has screened at many international film festivals and has won various prizes, including Tiger Award in 2007 in Rotterdam. Her second feature film At Ellen’s Age (2010) was developed in the Résidence du Festival de Cannes. Layla Fourie is her latest work. Both to be seen in this year's program.