Ziad H. Hamzeh is a member of the adjunct Photography faculty. His work has been published in the Los Angeles Times.
Professional Title: Adjunct Photography Faculty
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Filmmaking
Area of Work and Concentration at Lesley: Directing, Writing, Producing
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Senior Portfolio I & II
Education: MFA in Directing from California State University, Fullerton, MA in Writing and Criticism from California State University, Los Angeles, BA in Theatre from the University of Massachusetts, Boston
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions:
Ziad’s work has earned over forty awards and accolades for directing, producing, and writing. Ziad’s latest film Always Brando, producer, is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival 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.
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 men fell madly in love. A spy for the British, perhaps for the French, and like any good cult figure, she died young in a suspicious auto accident. Asmahan is an exotic woman striding across the cultural barriers.
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.
As artistic director of two award-winning venues, The Open Fist Theatre and The Egyptian Arena, 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.
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Christopher James, Department Chair - “Play is the only way to learn anything well. Everything you do well, you teach yourself for the love of it.”