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Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad is a Dutch-Palestinian film director. His controversial film Paradise Now, about two Palestinian boys preparing for a suicide attack in Israel, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.

Abu-Assad was born in Nazareth in 1961 and emigrated to the Netherlands in 1980. After having studied technical engineering in Haarlem he worked as an airplane engineer in the Netherlands for several years. He was hired having an Israeli passport, but when he appeared to be an Arab Israeli and not Jewish, he was fired, allegedly for that reason. Abu-Assad entered the world of cinema and television as a producer. He formed Ayloul Film Productions in 1990.

In 1998 he directed his first film, Het 14de kippetje (The Fourteenth Chick), from a script by writer Arnon Grunberg. Later films are the short Nazareth 2000 (2000) and Rana's wedding (2002). His documentary film Ford Transit (situated in Israel/Palestine) was stopped from showing by Dutch television (VPRO) when it appeared to be a scripted film, including a Palestinian actor playing a brutal Israeli soldier. It caused much debate in the Netherlands about how factual documentary films should be.

In 2006 his film Paradise Now won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign language film, and it received an Oscar-nomination in the same category. This time there is controversy about the country of origin and about the subject: two boys preparing a suicide attack. In 2005 Paradise Now won the Golden Calf for best Dutch film.

Abu-Assad is currently filming a movie entitled L.A. Cairo.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.

Hany Abu-Assad Facts

BirthdayOctober 11, 1961 (61)
BirthplaceNazareth, Israel

Selected Filmography

Paradise Now
The Idol
The Courier
Rana's Wedding
Do Not Forget Me Istanbul
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