Scandar Copti

Film Industry Role: Director, Academic

Nationality: Palestinian

Major Works: Ajami (2009)

Major Awards and Nominations: Honorable Mention and Golden Camera Nomination at the Cannes Film Festival

With a background in Mechanical engineering, the Palestinian director first caught the film world’s attention when he received a special mention in Cannes for “Ajami” (2009), co-directed with Yaron Shani, which also provided him a series of accolades in major events such as Thessaloniki, Istanbul and Tallinn Black Nights’ film festivals.

During the production, the Palestinian artist developed a complex yet effective workshop method to prepare nonprofessional actors to work in fiction. He has been traveling across the world sharing this invaluable experience, producing workshops focused on providing the tools and knowledge to filmmakers who choose to work with amateur actors.

Scandar has also played a key role in the creation of the Doha Film Institute, a major player in third cinema circles, responsible for financing film production and education in the Middle East and lower Asia. He is now a film academic at NYU Abu Dhabi, where he lives with his family, a position he combines with his continuous work as a filmmaker producing several fiction shorts, academic and experimental films.

Copti is also an accomplished visual artist and has been a jury member at several film events such as Tribeca Film Festival.

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