Born in 1957, João Canijo studied History at the University of Porto from 1977 to 1980 and worked as an Assistant Director to Manoel de Oliveira, Wim Wenders, Alain Tanner and Werner Schroeter from 1980 to 1985. He made his first short film of his own in 1983, and his first feature-length film was TRÉS MENOS EU from 1988, which screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam of the same year. Since then, has directed many features, which have been well represented at international film festivals. His film BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (2011) received the FIPRESCI Award in San Sebastian and the Grand Jury Prize in Miami Film Festival. His feature THAT'S LOVE (2013) won several awards in Portugal for Best Film.
Films: TRÊS MENOS EU (1985), FILHA DA MÃE (1989), SAPATOS PRETO (1997), GANHAR A VIDA (2000), NOITE ESCURA (2003), MAL NASCIDA (2007), FANTASIA LUSITANA (2010), TRABALHO DE ACTRIZ, TRABALHO DE ACTOR (2011), SANGUE DO MEU SANGUE (2011), RAÚL BRANDÃO ERA UM GRANDE ESCRITOR... (2012, K), É O AMOR (2013), PORTUGAL, UM DIA DE CADA VEZ (2015), DIÁRO DAS BEIRAS (2017), VIVER MAL (2023)