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Sophie Heldman was born in Hamburg in 1973 to a Mexican mother and a German father. In 1976 her family moved to Switzerland, where she grew up. In 1993 she moved to New York to work as a locations manager on independent feature films. In 1996 she returned to Europe to study Directing at the German Film and Television Academy (dffb) in Berlin and took classes in directing actors at the Tisch School of Arts/NYU. During her studies, she worked on a number of feature films as first and second assistant director, working with directors including Sydney Pollack, Stina Werenfels, Xavier Koller and Daniel Schmid. Her short film Icke was nominated as Best Short Film at the Max-Ophüls-Preis Festival in Saarbrücken and was shown at several other festivals. Colours in the Dark is her first feature film.