b. Lisbon, 1984. Graduated at ESTC National Film and Theater School (Lisbon) and Universidad del Cine (Buenos Aires).
In 2009 he won the Palme d'Or for short-films at Cannes with ARENA. The film won four other prizes including Best ShortFilm at IndieLisboa, being screened in more than 50 festivals (Tribeca, Rotterdam, London, Gijón, Pusan, Tampere, Angers, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, etc).
His previous short-features are CERRO NEGRO (world premiere at Rotterdam 2012; Best Director for National Short-Films Award in IndieLisboa 2012) and STROKKUR (Belfort, Gijón, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, Luso-Brazilian Film Festival, Split Film Festival, Oslo Screen Festival and Solar Cinematic Art Gallery).
In 2012 the Centre Pompidou in Paris presented four of his films in a retrospective program.
João Salaviza also directed CASA NA COMPORTA (2010) commissioned for the Portuguese architecture national exhibition at the Venice Biennale; and HOTEL MÜLLER (2010) on the work of Pina Bausch. He also directed DUAS PESSOAS (2004) while at the film school, being premiered at Karlovy Vary and awarded at Curtas Vila do Conde.
In 2012 his short-film RAFA received the Golden Bear at the Berlinale, followed by the Award in Memory of Ingmar Bergman in Uppsala Film Festival; the Small Camera Award in Manaki Film Festival, and selections for more than thirty film festivals such as Gijón, Cork, Sarajevo, São Paulo, Bristol, Motovun, IndieLisboa, etc.
In 2013 he will shoot his first long-feature.