School of the Arts Faculty
Contact InformationOffice: Ansin 9th Fl.
Office Hours: M 7-8am, 5-6pm
Ziad H. Hamzeh
Affiliated Faculty (2014)
B.A. University of Massachusetts, Boston
M.A. California State University
M.F.A. California State University
Ziad H. Hamzeh Ziad's work has earned over forty awards and accolades for directing, producing, and writing. Ziad's latest film, Irrefutable Proof, has been picked up by Shoreline Entertainment for world wide distribution in 2016. Recently, Always Brando (producer) had its world premier 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 Best Picture at Alexandria Film Festival. Ziad is also preparing to direct his feature film epic, Asmahan, about a Druze princess with eyes so green they shone through the black-and-white screen, and with whom men fell madly in love. A spy for the British, or perhaps for the French, like any good cult figure she died young in a suspicious auto accident. Asmahan was an exotic woman striding across the cultural barriers.
Ziad's film Woman earned the Golden Palm Award from the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Three additional awards included 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 as well, 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); and many other artists mentored by Ziad. who found a haven for their creative powers after joining Ziad at The Open Fist.