Born in Switzerland in 1964, Denise Gilliand went to live in Mexico at the age of 16. There she discovered cinema when working as a model in various productions. In 1985 she obtained her diploma as a director from the Istituto di Scienze Cinematografiche in Florence. On her return to Switzerland she wrote, directed and produced a number of films. Her documentaries, shown in cinemas and on TV, are also frequently used in debates on important social issues.