Simon El Habre is an award-winning French-Lebanese film director, scriptwriter, and producer. Born in Lebanon in 1969, he grew up in Paris and Beirut, and comes from a family of filmmakers. El Habre has directed numerous documentaries and feature films, which have been shown at numerous film festivals around the world, including the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival.
El Habre earned a degree in filmmaking from the Sorbonne in Paris, and began his career working as a scriptwriter, editor, and co-producer for various French television channels. He then went on to direct his own documentary films, such as “The Unseen Lebanon” (1995), which was the first documentary to explore the complex cultural and political issues in the country.
In 2000, El Habre moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in feature filmmaking. His first feature film, “Dancing in the Dark” (2003), was a critically-acclaimed drama about a young Lebanese woman who is forced to confront her haunted past. The film was nominated for several awards, including the Grand Prize at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. El Habre’s follow-up feature, “The Journey” (2004), was also a success, and earned him the Best Director Award at the 2006 Montreal World Film Festival.
El Habre’s most recent film, “The Promise” (2009), was a romantic drama about a young couple in Beirut. The film was praised for its beautiful cinematography and authentic portrayal of life in the city. “The Promise” was nominated for Best Picture at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.
El Habre’s films have been praised for their sensitive treatment of complex subjects, and their ability to capture the beauty and complexity of the Middle Eastern culture. He is constantly pushing the boundaries of storytelling, and exploring new ways to tell stories. He has also received numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the Grand Prize at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival, and the Best Director Award at the 2006 Montreal World Film Festival.
El Habre continues to live and work in Los Angeles, where he is currently developing his latest feature film. He is also teaching filmmaking classes at the University of Southern California, and has been invited to be a jury member at numerous international film festivals.