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Catherine Breillat (born 13 July 1948 in Bressuire, Deux-Sèvres) is a French filmmaker, novelist and Professor of Auteur Cinema at the European Graduate School. Breillat was born in Bressuire, Deux-Sèvres, but grew up in Niort. She decided to become a writer and director at the age of 12 after watching Ingmar Bergman's Gycklarnas afton, believing she had found her "'fictional body'" in Harriet Andersson's character, Anna. She started her career after studying acting at Yves Furet "Studio d'Entraînement de l'Acteur" in Paris together with her sister, actress Marie-Hélène Breillat (born 2 June 1947) in 1967. At the age of 17, she had her novel, l'Homme facile, (Easy Man) published. Ironically the French government banned it for readers under 18 years old. A film based on the novel was made shortly after the publication of the book, but the producer went bankrupt and the distributor Artedis blocked any commercial release of the film for twenty years although it had been given an R rating. Breillat is known for films focusing on sexuality, intimacy, gender conflict and sibling rivalry. Breillat has been the subject of controversy for her explicit depictions of sexuality and violence.