Joshua Oppenheimer was born in 1974 in the United Sates. He received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) with highest honor in film-making from Harvard University. He received a PhD University of the Arts London. He started his career with a short film called “Hugh” he shot in 1995, followed by 3 other short films, including “The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase” which won a Gold Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival.
His first feature length documentary “The Act of Killing” won 72 international awards, including the European Film Award for Best Documentary in 2013, the BAFTA for Best Documentary in 2014, the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Documentary in 2013, and a Panorama Audience Award and a Prize of the Ecumenical Jury from the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014.
His second feature length documentary “The Look of Silence” had its premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, where it won 5 awards, including the Grand Jury Prize, the FIPRESCI Award and the FEDEDORA award. This film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016. It won the Best World Documentary at the Busan International Film Festival, the Grand Prize (DOX:AWARD) at the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival (CPH:DOX), and the Peace Film Price at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2016 Oppenheimer was named as a member of the main competition jury for the Venice International Film Festival and in 2017 he was the guest director for the Telluride Film Festival.
He is currently the artistic director of the Documentary and Experimental Film Centre at the University of Westminster in London.