Max Barbakow


Max Barbakow is a director & writer in Los Angeles whose inclination for character-driven dark comedy probably stems from his conception in a closet at a high school house party. This teenage sex, for which he is most grateful, forms the core of MOMMY, I’M A BASTARD!, his feature-length debut, which pieces together the story of his adoption. The film originated as his thesis at Yale before premiering at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Post-grad, projects for companies like Fusion, Refinery29, and Participant Media allowed Max to chase stories and landscapes around the world, from Laos to Wounded Knee to Rajasthan to Yonkers. In 2016, THE DUKE: BASED ON THE MEMOIR “I’M THE DUKE” BY J.P. DUKE, Max’s thesis at the AFI Conservatory, where he earned his MFA in Directing, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival, won awards at Hamptons and Reykjavik IFF, and was shortlisted for a BAFTA.

Most recently, Max has directed proof-of-concept shorts for pilots in development at AMC and TriStar, and is writing two features plus an experimental short story cycle for the world wide web.