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Hofmann was born in Mexico City, Mexico. Both of his parents were artists. His father, Herbert Hofmann Isenburg was a sculptor who was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He studied at the Ballhaus and later in Paris in the workshop of the French sculptor Aristide Maillol, and arrived in Mexico in 1939. His mother, Kitzia Hofmann, created stained glass art for churches in Mexico and the United States.
At the age of 18 Henner Hofmann attended the University Center of Cinematographic Studies, CUEC, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The Circus, a documentary presented as his thesis, was distinguished with an honorable mention in Warsaw, Poland.
In 1977 Henner Hofmann, Afonso Muñoz, Gonzalo Matinez Ortega, Ignacio Nacho Lopez, Oscar Menedez and Juan Rulfo founded the Archives of Ethnic Communities, with more than 45 documentaries about the indigenous communities in Mexico. Hofmann began his career as a cinematographer after four years of traveling throughout Mexico, resulting in his first film, Bajo el Mismo Sol.
He was the first Mexican cinematographer to win a Coral Award for best photography in the Havana Film Festival. He has won an Ariel, the most prestigious award in the Mexican film industry. In 1992 he founded the AMC Mexican Society of Cinematographers.
Hofmann is a member of the Technicians and Cinematographic Production Guild, the Mexican Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Science, and the Screen Writers' Guild in Mexico City. In the U.S. he is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, and a member of the Academy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) OSCAR
Hofmann has worked as a teacher in film schools in Mexico City. Since 2008, he has been headmaster at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica film school.