Hisham Bizri

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Providence, Rhode Island, USA

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Hisham Bizri is a film director, writer, producer, and scholar born in Beirut, Lebanon. He started working in films in the US and Hungary with filmmakers Stan Brakhage, Raoul Ruiz, and Miklós Jancsó. and has directed 25 short films to date. He taught film at MIT, UC Davis, NYU, Boston University, The School Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the University of Minnesota, and in Lebanon, Korea, Japan, Ireland, and Jordan where he initiated a number of academic film programs. His students have gone to study film at NYU, USC, AFI, UCLA, La Fémis (Paris) and FAMU (Prague). He is currently a Professor of Screenwriting and Filmmaking in the Literary Arts Department at Brown University.

Bizri's work has been shown in international venues including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Oberhausen, Moscow, and Abu Dhabi film festivals as well as the Louvre, Institut du Monde Arabe, Cinémathèque Française, Centre Pompidou, MoMa, and Anthology Film Archives (NY). He is recipient of awards such as the McKnight, Salomon, LEF, Jerome, Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and “the Rome Prize” from the American Academy.

In 2005, Bizri co-founded The Arab Institute of Film (Amman, Jordan) with the Syrian filmmaker Omar Amiralay and Danish producer Jakob Høgel, with support from the Danish government, International Media Support (Denmark), and the Ford Foundation. He served as Producer at Future TV (Lebanon), Creative Director of Orbit Communications Company (Rome/Dubai/Beirut/Cairo), and President & Creative Director of Levantine Films (NYC).

Bizri is now working on several short films and a feature. He cites Henry James as a key figure in shaping some of his views on art and literature: “It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance… giving fresh meaning to contemporary life.”

On his website, Bizri lists the films he appreciates, including: "Arabic Series" (Stan Brakhage, 1981), "Red River" (Howard Hawks, 1946), "The Sun Shines Bright" (John Ford, 1953), "Au Hasard, Balthazar" (Robert Bresson, 1966), "Gertrud" (Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1964), "The 47 Ronin" (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1942), "The Earrings of Madame de..." (Max Ophuls, 1953), "India: Matri Bhumi" (Roberto Rossellini, 1959), The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk, 1957), and "The Masseurs and a Woman" (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1938), as well as the films of D. W. Griffith and Gregory Markopoulos.

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