Internationally acclaimed Palestinian filmmaker Sameh Zoabi will discuss the state of Palestinian cinema and burgeoning culture of international film festivals in the Arab world. Sameh Zoabi was born and raised in Iksal, a Palestinian village near the city of Nazareth. He graduated from Tel Aviv University with a dual degree in Film Studies and English Literature. In 2000, Zoabi received a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue an M.F.A. in Film Direction from the School of the Arts at Columbia University. Zoabi is also the recipient of prestigious residencies at the Cannes Festival Cinefondation as well as the Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Zoabi’s work is inspired by his upbringing, intermingled with the vast multicultural exchanges that his studies and work permitted. Zoabi’s time in the United States, France and the Middle East granted opportunities to develop unique international perspectives as a writer-director. These perspectives aided in the development of projects, which speak to a new wave of Arab cinema.
Zoabi’s unique voice was recognized by Filmmaker Magazine and he was named one of the “Top 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema.” His work has been shown in many international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Sundance. His filmography includes short film Be Quiet (2005), and his feature film debut Man Without a Cell Phone (2012). He recently expanded his work to television, with a feature drama and documentaries.
Currently, Zoabi is an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is also preparing to direct a feature film, Catch the Moon, a dramatic comedy set in the Middle East. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and son.