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DEREK CIANFRANCE attended the University of Colorado's film school, where he studied under avant-garde film legends Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. His first three student films took the university's top prize and earned him a Special Dean's Grant for Achievement in the Arts as well as the Independent Film Channel's top award for Excellence in Student Filmmaking. Derek went on to shoot and edit his first feature, BROTHER TIED, at the age of 23. The film made its American premiere at Sundance, where it was lauded as "one of the most striking American independent debuts in some time” by The Guardian's Jonathan Romney and hailed as a work of "visual genius” by Newsday's John Anderson. The film traveled to over 30 festivals and won international awards at six of them.

With solid credentials in narrative filmmaking, Derek ventured into documentary work where he explored a wide array of subjects and characters for both theatrical exhibition and TV. His work has include profiles of such artists as Mos Def, Sean "Diddy” Combs, Run-DMC, Cassandra Wilson and Annie Lennox. He has also turned his lens on Mixed-Martial Arts fighters for CAGEFIGHTER, Vietnam veteran biker clubs for ROLLING THUNDER-RIDE FOR FREEDOM, teenage inner-city basketball players in MTV's BATTLEGROUNDS series, and a look at the mysterious world of crime photography in SHOTS IN THE DARK, produced for Court TV and Britain's Channel 4. Serving as director of photography, Derek revealed teen racing and Hispanic subculture in STREETS OF LEGEND for which he won the Excellence in Cinematography Award at Sundance 2003.

Derek has also directed numerous commercials and various high profile branded content work including the pioneering internet serial MEET THE LUCKY ONES which made Adweek's Top Ten Ad Campaigns of 2004, and the award-winning internet documentary FORD: BOLD MOVES, which he co-directed with documentary legends Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky.

Currently Derek is filming the feature film METALHEAD that he plans to complete next year.

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