Doriana Leondeff was born in Bari in 1962, of an Italian mother and a Bulgarian father. Her first artistic experience in theatre came in 1978-80 at the youth theatre of the Bari Teatro Kismet. After receiving a maturità degree in Classics, she spent a year in London auditing courses at the London Film School in 1981. She moved to Rome in 1982, where she resides today. From 1982-84, Leondeff attended the scriptwriting workshop given by Age at the European Design Institute. She was production assistant on Peter Del Monte's Piccoli Fuochi (1985), and obtained a degree in screenwriting at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome in 1987. The following year she also graduated in Arts with a thesis on Film History and Criticism from La Sapienza University of Rome. During that same year she worked as production assistant on Emir Kusturica's film Il tempo dei gitani. From 1988-93 she collaborated with screenwriters Nicola Baddalucco and Rodolfo Sonego on several films and mini-series for television. It was in 1995 that Doriana Leondeff began collaborating with Silvio Soldini. Together they wrote Le Acrobate (award-winner at the Paris Rencontres Internationales de Cinéma and winner of the Sacher d'Oro award as Best Film of the Year) and subsequently, Mistero a Biasca (short subject) and, finally, Bread and Tulips (Pane e tulipani) which was awarded, among others, 3 Premio Flaiano 2000 including Best Screenplay, and recently, 9 David di Donatello 2000 awards including Best Screenplay, and 5 Silver Ribbons 2000 including Best Screenplay. In 1997 Leondeff had collaborated on the screenplay of Mimmo Calopresti's La parola amore esiste (Cannes Film Festival Official Selection). Doriana Leondeff was awarded the Grolla d'Oro in 1998 at the Saint-Vincent Festival for the screenplay of Marco Turco's film Vita in sospesa, as well as the prize for Best First Work.