Burman and Daniel Hendler on the set of Family Law. Courtesy IFC First Take, 2006

As a moviemaking triple threat, screenwriter-producer-director Daniel Burman is finally getting his due. The Argentinean’s latest film, Family Law (out in limited release on December 26), has been put forth as his country’s 2007 Oscar contender for Best Foreign Film. Although it is an unparalleled honor, this isn’t the first time Burman is receiving high praise for his work. Two of his previous films, 1996’s A Chrysanthemum Burst in Cincoesquinas and 2004’s Lost Embrace, have received worldwide accolades—from Berlin to Park City.

Burman is considered by many to be a part of the New Argentine Cinema alongside such directors as Fabián Bielinsky and Alejandro Agresti. The Polish-Jewish Argentinean was brought up in the 1970s, in the El Once neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina—a traditionally Jewish settlement within an otherwise strongly Christian culture. Both his feature and documentary work employ the common thread of this unique identity, often leading to comparisons with Woody Allen.

Using his diverse background and personal experiences, Burman’s success lies largely in his ability to delicately and comically weave tales of conflicted men—stories that resonate with audiences, no matter what their background—and his most recent endeavor is no different. Caught in-between the idealized roles of dutiful son and doting father, Burman’s protagonist, Ariel (played by long-time collaborator Daniel Hendler), finds himself unexpectedly examining his life choices, and reflecting on his own relationship with his father. Throughout his career, Burman has demonstrated a rare ability to tap into the complexity of human relationships with both insight and humor, making him a welcome addition to the growing list of accomplished modern-day moviemakers around the world.