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Ziad Hamzeh

Adjunct Faculty

Black and white headshot of Ziad Hamzeh staring at the camera.

Ziad’s body of work as a director, producer and writer has earned over forty awards and honors. Presently Ziad is producing the film The Sharpest Edge of Nature. Ziad served as an executive producer on Forbidden Womanhood which is currently in its post-production stage. Most recently Ziad produced The Island Of Forgiveness starring Claudia Cardinale. Both films are slotted for release in 2021. Prior work includes producing The Flower of Aleppo starring Hend Sabry and executive producing Dreams I Never Had starring Malcolm McDowell. The Flower Of Aleppo was honored as Tunisia’s entry into both the 2017 Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. The Flower was chosen to be the opening night event at the prestigious Carthage Film Festival. His critically acclaimed feature film Shadow Glories has been heralded as “Powerful and distinctive. A mature, accomplished work...strong, stylish and uncompromising” by Kevin Thomas, film critic for The Los Angeles Times. In July, 2019, Ziad had the release of Hail Mary (Sushi Tushi), his animated and live-action football comedy.

Currently in development is Ziad's feature film Willow based on Christine Handy's best selling book Walk Beside Me. Stylistically, Willow is a magnificent story where poetic realism marries the the harsh dark layers of life. A rose standing in the center of the violent storm, tossed in so many directions with no shelter. A clearly focused journey that sparks with fresh and honest look at the struggles that face our character in her darkest moments. An accomplished original, and brilliant structure that breaks through the common chains and expectations of a melodramatic story and elevates it with gracefulness. The poetic nature that embodies the style of writing will allow a dazzling display of rawness and courage. Lightness that disguises the truth and the darkness that reveals it. Silence that conquered the greatest noise, the audience will feel the power of this emotionally charged journey.

In Hollywood, Ziad created two extraordinary 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 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.

Professor Ziad teaches advanced and graduate classes in filmmaking and photography at Lesley University. 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 Theatre from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Ziad is a member of the Producer's Guild of America serving on the diversity committee.

Personal Website


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

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

The Letter: An American Town and the Somali Invasion, Director, Producer, and Writer
Has won numerous awards and accolades
New York Magazine: Critic's Pick

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, Accolades Award for Excellence in Film
Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival: Best Documentary


Shadow Glories, LA TIMES


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

The Flower of Aleppo, Producer
Carthage Film Festival