School of the Arts Faculty
ziad h hamzeh
Ziad's work has earned over forty awards and accolades for directing, producing, and writing. Ziad's latest film Always Brando, producer, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011.
Always Brando, written and directed by renowned filmmaker Ridha Behi's, was intended to be Marlon Brando's last film prior to his death. Always Brando weaves a story of innocence lost, of love abandoned and of dreams shattered. Ziad and Ridha won the Black Pearl award for Best Producers at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2011. Always Brando also received The Jury prize at the Algerian Film Festival 2011 and the best picture at Alexandria Film Festival.
Ziad is also preparing to direct feature film Asmahan about a Druze princess with eyes so green they shone through the black-and-white screen.
Most recently, ziad's film Woman earned the Golden Palm Award from the Beverly Hills Film Festival. !Henry O! won three awards including the audience choice award for Best Documentary from the Beverly Hills Film Festival, The Accolades award for excellence in film, and best of fest of Latin Cinema from Breckenridge Film Festival.
Ziad's other work includes the AFI premier of The Letter: An American Town And The "Somali Invasion", his controversial, multi-award winning feature-length documentary about the influx of black Muslim U.S. immigrants in a post 9/11 world. The Letter garnered powerful reviews and won numerous awards. Ziad's award-winning feature film Shadow Glories took many awards and was called "powerful and distinctive...a mature, accomplished work. Shadow Glories is strong, stylish and uncompromising" by Kevin Thomas in the LA Times.
In Los Angeles, ziad created two extraordinary theatres: The Open Fist Theatre and The Egyptian Arena. As artistic director of these award-winning venues, Ziad brought to the LA theatre community many prestigious international names such as Arrabel, Artue, Beckett, Brecht, Churchill, Gretzky, and Lorca. He directed and produced over sixty major award winning stage productions, among them Roxy Ventola's After The Bomb, Brecht's Baal, Sam Shephard's True West, Arrabel's Car Cemetery, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant, Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carre, Nicholas Kazan's Blood Moon, Poor Murderer, The Architect and Empress of Assyria, Cinders, Low Level Panic, and Dusa, Fish, Stas, and Vi.
Ziad has mentored and empowered numerous artists. Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud, 17 again, Igby goes Down) Tony Spiridakis (The Last Word, queens Logic) Dalene Young (Cross Creek, Pale Rider Pale Horse, Little Darlings) Juan Carlos Valdivia (Southern District, Juno and The Pink Whale, American Visa) are among many artists mentored by ziad. They found a haven for their creative powers when joining ziad at The Open Fist.