After working as a professional commercial photographer in Tel-Aviv, he left Israel in 1985 and settled in Paris. He now splits his time between Europe and Israel. Known for his controversial films, Sivan has produced and directed more than a dozen political documentaries. Common State (2012), Jaffa (2009) and Route 181 (2003) won awards at various festivals.
Sivan's films are regularly exhibited in art exhibitions including Documenta, Manifesta and ICP New York. His work touches on such themes as the representation of political crime; the political use of memory; the ethics of documentary filmmaking; and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He is the founder and artistic director of the Paris-based documentary film company Momento! and of the film distribution agency Scalpel. He created South Cinema Notebooks, a journal of cinema criticism published by the Sapir Academic College in Ashkelon.