Zita Hanrot

You have to allow yourself to dream, to not censor yourself, it's very important to not limit yourself to the place you came from...

A regular on film sets since childhood, Zita Hanrot has become, in a few roles, a pre-eminent actress in young French cinema. Capable of sliding into all genres, she has just gone behind the camera with her first short film, La Maman des poissons (The Mother of Fish) in 2019.

Published on 02/06/2020

2 min

Born in Marseille in 1989, Zita Hanrot has roots in Jamaica and Guyana. At the age of eight, she appeared in a Doc Gynéco video and continued along this path by regularly appearing in the TV series Le Tuteur (The Tutor, 2004).

At 18, she began studying art history, which she quickly abandoned to move to Paris and fulfil her love for theatre by returning to the École du jeu theatre school. She landed minor roles for major French directors such as Romain Lévy, François Ozon and Mia Hansen-Love before her breakthrough in Fatima (2015) by Philippe Faucon, which earned her a César.

As she continues her acting career, Zita Hanrot is moving on to directing in 2019 with her first short film La Maman des poissons, which poetically chronicles cousins in mourning.

Comedies, science fiction, thrillers, social dramas, socially engaged films...when Zita Hanrot takes on roles she reinvents herself in each project. Not hesitating to distinguish between series and auteur films, the spirit of the Marseillaise refuses to restrict itself to a single genre.

Whether portraying the daughter of an immigrant studying medicine in Fatima (2015), a junkie in La fête est finie (The Party’s Over, 2018), a police officer in the throes of madness in Paul Sanchez est revenu ! (Paul Sanchez Is Back !,2018) or a very serious senior education adviser in La Vie Scolaire (School Life, 2019), Zita Hanrot is often offered sad, melancholy roles. Throughout her filmography, she has portrayed characters who are lonely and fragile.

Thrust into the spotlight in 2016 when she received her César for Most Promising Actress for Fatima, Zita Hanrot confirmed her talent by receiving two Best Actress Awards at the Sarlat Film Festival and the Saint-Jean-de-Luz International Festival a year later for La fête est finie. A leading actress of France's new generation, Zita Hanrot regularly appears at festivals with her films.

Now in her 30s, she also become internationally known as a director in 2019: her first short, La Maman des poissons, was presented at the Cannes Film Festival before headlining at the Tangier National Film Festival in Morocco, and then at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in 2020.

  • 2012


    Zita Hanrot lands her first film role in Radiostars.

  • 2016


    The actress receives the César for Most Promising Actress for her role in Fatima.

  • 2017


    With two acting awards for La Fête est est fini, Zita Hanrot has established herself as a leading actress of the new French generation.

  • 2018


    She undertakes the role of Elsa in Plan Cœur (The Hook Up Plan), a successful French series on Netflix.

  • 2019


    Zita Hanrot goes behind the camera and makes her first short film, La Maman des Poissons.

The Institut français and the artist

Fatima (2015), Paul Sanchez est revenu ! (Paul Sanchez is back !, 2017) and La Vie scolaire (School life, 2019) have been screened internationally by the Institut français.


The Institut français offers a catalogue of over 2,500 titles, enabling the French cultural network and its partners to screen French films around the world.

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