Max Barbakow is a director & writer in Los Angeles whose inclination for character-driven dark comedy probably stems from his conception in a closet at a high school house party. This teenage sex, for which he is grateful, forms the basis of MOMMY, I’M A BASTARD!, his feature-length debut, which pieces together the story of his adoption. The film originated as his thesis at Yale before premiering at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. He also studied abroad in Bolivia. Post-grad, projects for Univision, Refinery29, & Participant Media allowed Max to chase stories and landscapes around the world, from Laos to Wounded Knee to Rajasthan to Yonkers. He then worked on David O. Russell's AMERICAN HUSTLE. THE DUKE: BASED ON THE MEMOIR "I'M THE DUKE" BY J.P. DUKE, Max’s thesis at the AFI Conservatory, where he earned his MFA in Directing, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, won awards at Hamptons and Reykjavik IFF, and was shortlisted for a BAFTA. Most recently, Max shot two films in Cuba with Werner Herzog.