Cristi Puiu has painted since the age of 10. In 1990, after the fall of the communist regime, he participated in an exhibition in Lausanne, Switzerland, together with other young Romanian artists. Two years later, he was admitted to the Ecole Superieure Arts Visuels in Geneva, the painting department.
At the end of the first year, he abandoned the painting courses for filmmaking courses at the same school which he graduated in 1996. In 2004 he founded with Anca Puiu and Alex Munteanu the cinematic production house Mandragora.
Cristi Puiu lives in Bucharest and is married to filmmaker Anca Puiu. Together with Anca he has 3 children – Smaranda, Ileana and Zoe.
He made his debut as a director with the movie “Stuff and Dough” in 2001. He continued with a short film, “Cigarettes and Coffee”, in 2004, also an award-winning film. The second feature film, Mr. Lazarescu’s Death, 2005, won numerous international awards, including the Grand Prix in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2010 he also directed the long- fiction film Aurora, in which he played the main character (Viorel). His latest film, “Sieranevada”, was selected in the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival and won numerous international awards. In 2006 he was awarded the National Order For Merit in the rank of Knight by the President of Romania, Traian Basescu. His latest film Malmkrog was the opening film of the new Encounters section of the 70th Berlinale and Puiu received the Best Director award.