Pia Marais Pia Marais was born in South Africa in 1971. She studied sculpture and photography at art academies in London, Amsterdam and Düsseldorf, and then went on to study film at the Deutsche Film und Fernseh Akademie in Berlin, where she resides. Marais created four short films: Loop (1996), Deranged (1998), Tricky People (1999), and 17 (2003). After several engagements in film business as a casting director and assistant director, she directed The Unpolished, her first feature film, which has been screened at many international film festivals and has won various prizes, among them the Golden Tiger Award (Rotterdam 2007). Her second feature film, At Ellen's Age, was developed at the Residence of the Cannes Festival. Her latest film, Layla Fourie, was screened at the official competition of the Berlin Festival and won an honorary award.