Héctor Babenco

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Héctor Babenco
Hector Babenco.jpg
Babenco in São Paulo, Brazil
Born (1946-02-07) February 7, 1946 (age 70)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Occupation Film director
Years active 1973 – present

Héctor Eduardo Babenco (born February 7, 1946) is an Argentine-born Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and actor.[1]

He has worked in several countries including Argentina, Brazil and the United States.

Life and career[edit]

Babenco was born in Buenos Aires but raised in Mar del Plata. His mother, Janka Haberberg, was a Polish Jewish immigrant, and his father, Jaime Babenco, was an Argentine gaucho of Ukrainian Jewish origin.[2][3] Babenco lived in Europe from 1964 to 1968. In 1969, he decided to stay in São Paulo, Brazil permanently. In 1975, he directed his first feature film, King of the Night.

His break-out film was Pixote - A lei do mais fraco (1981) about Brazil's abandoned children. Due to the impressive work of young actor Fernando Ramos da Silva (10 years old at the time), who was discovered in the suburbs of São Paulo, the film was a worldwide success and received numerous international prizes.

For his 1985 film Kiss of the Spider Woman, Babenco was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, the first Latin American to be nominated in this category.

In 1994, Babenco fell ill and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant to cure a lymphatic cancer.[4]

He has directed some of the most respected American actors in cinema, including: William Hurt, John Lithgow, Raul Julia, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Tom Berenger, Daryl Hannah, Aidan Quinn, Kathy Bates, and others.


Director and producer[edit]



  • "Carandiru, Outras Histórias" (2005) TV Series (producer)



  • São Paulo International Film Festival: Audience Award; Best Feature for: Lúcio Flávio, o Passageiro da Agonia; 1977.
  • Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival: OCIC Award - Honorable Mention, for: Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco; 1981.
  • Locarno International Film Festival: Silver Leopard; for: Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco; 1981.
  • Tokyo International Film Festival: Special Jury Distinguished Award for: Kiss of the Spider Woman; 1985.
  • Havana Film Festival: Audience Award; Glauber Rocha Award; House of the Americas Award; OCIC Award; Radio Havana Award; Saúl Yelín Award; Special Jury Prize; for: Carandiru; 2003.
  • Cartagena Film Festival, Colombia: Golden India Catalina; Best Film, for: Carandiru; 2004.
  • Cinema Brazil: Cinema Brazil Grand Prize; Best Adapted Screenplay, for: Carandiru. Shared with: Fernando Bonassi and Victor Navas; Best Director for: Carandiru; 2004.
  • Gramado Film Festival: Eduardo Abelin Trophy; 2005.



  1. ^ Héctor Babenco at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ Livraria Saraiva. "Contemporâneo de Mim". Saraiva.com.br. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Héctor Babenco official web site.
  5. ^ "16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-02-24. 

External links[edit]