Visual & Media 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
A Director, Producer, and Writer, Ziad's work has earned over forty awards and honors. Presently Ziad is in pre-production for the film Sushi Tushi slotted to begin filming in New York May 2017. Most recently he produced the film THE FLOWER OF ALEPPO in Tunis which is slotted to be the opening film at the Carthage Film Festival this October. The film was chosen to be Tunisia entry into the 2017 Oscar and the Golden Globe Awards.
In April Ziad's film Irrefutable Proof swept the Beverly Hills Film Festival earning three top awards. The Golden Palm for Ziad, Best actress, and best cinematography. Ziad shared The Abu Dhabi Film Festival's Black Pearl Award for Best Producer with acclaimed Tunisian filmmaker Ridha Behi for Always Brando, which had its world premiere at The Toronto International Film Festival. Always Brando also received the Jury prize at The Algerian Film Festival and the Best Picture Award at The Alexandria Film Festival.
Ziad's Academy Award qualifying documentary The Letter: An American Town and the Somali Invasion has won numerous awards and accolades and was chosen Critics Pick from New York Magazine. Woman earned the prestigious Golden Palm Award from The Beverly Hills Film Festival, ¡Henry O! took Best Documentary from The Beverly Hills Film Festival, The Best of Fest Award from The Breckenridge Film Festival, The Accolades Award for Excellence in Film, and his critically acclaimed feature film Shadow Glories was heralded as "Powerful and distinctive. A mature, accomplished work... strong, stylish and uncompromising" by Kevin Thomas, film critic for The Los Angeles Times. Ziad's latest feature Irrefutable Proof will be released in 2016.
Ziad is currently developing his feature film epic Asmahan based on the true story of an emerald-eyed beauty, a diva, and a revolutionary, she was a seductive star of the first magnitude in early 20th century Egypt and a spy for the Allies during World War II. Her daring and heroic life was mysteriously cut short at the age of twenty-six when her body was found in the Nile. Some said accident, some said murder, all said her legend was born.
In Hollywood, Ziad created two extraordinary theatres: The Open Fist Theatre Company and The Egyptian Arena. As Artistic Director of the award-winning Open Fist Theatre, Ziad brought to the LA theatre community prestigious international playwrights such as Arrabel, Artue, Beckett, Brecht, Churchill, Gretzky, and Lorca. He directed and produced over sixty major 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 such as 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), and Juan Carlos Valdivia (Southern District, Juno And The Pink Whale, American Visa). They found a haven for their creative powers when joining Ziad at The Open Fist Theatre.