Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Jonathan Jakubowicz wrote and directed the epic movie about the legendary boxer Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran starring Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez, Ana de Armas, Ellen Barkin, Ruben Blades, John Turturro and Usher. Hands of Stone premiered in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival 2016 to a standing ovation on May 16th and was released world wide by The Weinstein Company. Jakubowicz jumped to international recognition in 2005 after he wrote, directed and produced Secuestro express; the frightening story of one young couple's ordeal as they career through the underbelly of Caracas in the hands of three thugs who've made them their latest payday. The thriller became Venezuela's highest-grossing film, eclipsing such movies as "Titanic" and "The Passion of the Christ." "Las Aventuras de Juan Planchard" is his first novel.