Ziad Hamzeh

Adjunct Faculty

Ziad Hamzeh Headshot

Ziad teaches advanced and graduate classes in filmmaking and photography at the College of Art and Design and Emerson College. He earned an MFA in directing from California State University, Fullerton; an MA in writing and criticism from California State University, Los Angeles; and a BA in theater from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

His body of work as director, producer and writer has earned over 40 awards and honors. Most recently, he produced Tunisian filmmaker Ridha Behi's "The Flower of Aleppo," starring Hend Sabry and executive produced, "Dreams I Never Had," starring Malcolm McDowell. "Aleppo" was Tunisia’s entry into both the 2017 Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards, and it was chosen to be the opening night event at the prestigious Carthage Film Festival.

"Irrefutable Proof", a dramatic thriller Ziad directed and produced swept the Beverly Hills Film Festival earning the three highest awards. He was also honored at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for producing with Ridha Behi the documentary "Always Brando," which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film also received awards from the Alexandria Film Festival and the Algerian Film Festival.

Ziad's Academy Award qualifying documentary, "The Letter: An American Town and the Somali Invasion" has won numerous awards and accolades, including Critics Pick by New York Magazine. "Woman," a documentary he shot on location in Syria, also earned Ziad the Beverly Hills Film Festival's highest award.

His critically-acclaimed debut feature film "Shadow Glories" has been heralded as, “Powerful and distinctive. A mature, accomplished work...strong, stylish and uncompromising,” by film critic Kevin Thomas for The Los Angeles Times. Ziad kicked off 2018 with the release of "Sushi Tushi," his animated and live-action football comedy. In development is the feature film, "Asmahan," based on the true story of Asmahan Al-Atrash, a star of the first magnitude in early 20th century Egypt and a spy for the Allies during World War II.

In Hollywood, Ziad created two theaters: The Open Fist Theatre Company and The Egyptian Arena. As Artistic Director of the award-winning Open Fist Theatre, Ziad brought to the LA theater community international playwrights such as Arrabel, Artue, Beckett, Brecht, Churchill, Gretzky, and Lorca. He has directed and produced more than 60 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", among others. Ziad has mentored 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").

Awards

"Irrefutable Proof", Director and Producer, Beverly Hills Film Festival: the Golden Palm, Best Actress and Best Cinematography

"Always Brando", Producer, Abu Dhabi Film Festival: Best Producer with Ridha Behi, Alexandria Film Festival: Best Picture Award, Algerian Film Festival: Jury Prize

"Woman", Director, Beverly Hills Film Festival: Golden Palm Award

"¡Henry O!", Director, Producer, Writer, Beverly Hills Film Fest: Best Documentary, Breckenridge Film Festival: Best of Fest Award and Accolades Award for Excellence in Film

Publications

Shadow Glories, LA TIMES

Screenings

"Always Brando", Producer, Toronto International Film Festival 2011 and Algerian Film Festival 2011

"The Flower of Aleppo", Producer, Carthage Film Festival