Born in Austria in 1972, Jessica Hausner studied Directing at the Vienna Film Academy. Her first short film, Flora (1996), winner of the Leopard of Tomorrow Award at Locarno, was followed by Inter-view (1999), her graduation film, which in turn won the Special Prize granted by the Cinéfondation Jury in Cannes. That same year she founded her own production company, coop99, with Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda and Martin Gschlacht.
Her first two features, Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004), were selected by Cannes Festival for its Un Certain Regard section. And Lourdes (2009), a film ruminating on the ambivalence of miracle cures, was invited to compete at Venice that same year, carrying off the Fipresci Prize. The same film also bagged the Best Actress Award for Sylvie Testud at the European Film Awards. —Festival de San Sebastián