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Born in Johannesburg as daughter of a Swedish mother and a South-African father Pia Marais grew up in both countries.
Following art studies at Chelsea College, London, the Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2004 she began her studies in film direction at dffb Berlin.
After several engagements as casting director, 1st AD and script writer she directed her first feature film “The Unpolished” in 2007 which won several awards such as the German Film Critics Award 2008 and the Tiger Award 2007 in Rotterdam.
Tiger Award Rotterdam 2007 for “The Unpolished”
Best First Feature Film Durban Intl. Film Festival 2007 for “The Unpolished”
Best Feature Debut, Film Critics Award 2008 for “The Unpolished”