Karim Amer

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Karim Amer
Born (1983-11-10) 10 November 1983 (age 38)
Alma materNew York University
  • Director
  • producer
Years active2011–present
SpouseJehane Noujaim

Karim Amer (born November 10, 1983) is an Egyptian-American film producer and director. He worked on The Square (2013) and The Great Hack (2019);[1] the former was the first Egyptian film to earn an Academy Award nomination and went on to win three Emmy Awards, while the latter got nominated for an Emmy and a BAFTA Award.[2][3] In 2020, he produced and directed The Vow, an HBO documentary series about the self-improvement group, NXIVM.

Life and work[edit]

Amer and filmmaking partner Jehane Noujaim[4] met whilst she was filming The Square,[5] which he went on to co-produce with her. That film is about the Egyptian Crisis up until 2013, starting with the Egyptian revolution of 2011 at Tahrir Square. The film went on to win the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival. It ultimately won three Emmy Awards and was the first Egyptian film to get nominated for an Academy Award.[6][7]

Initially, Amer and Noujaim meant out to make a documentary revolving around the Sony Pictures hack, however the film evolved and shifted course as they started looking at how people's minds have been hacked and changed, which led to The Great Hack about the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and went on to get nominated at the BAFTA and Emmy Awards, and won an award at the Cinema Eye Honors.[8][9][10][11][4][12] Additionally, Amer developed Persuasion Machines, a project exploring virtual reality at the Sundance Film Festival[13]

In 2017, Amer teamed up with Angelina Jolie to produce Academy Award-nominated film The Breadwinner. In 2019, Amer also produced the Golden Globe-winning series Ramy on Hulu.[14] The series went on to gain critical acclaim and was described as "an insightful and hilarious glimpse into the life of a Muslim American family."[15] In the same year, Amer was an executive producer on the 2019 HBO documentary film Revolution Rent, which follows Andy Señor Jr. to Cuba as he stages a production of Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which marked the first American company of a Broadway musical there in more than half a century.[16]

Amer directed The Vow, a documentary series revolving around NXIVM and its leader Keith Raniere for HBO.[17][18] The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times listed The Vow as one of the best series of 2020.[19][20][21]

In 2021, Amer produced the documentary film You Resemble Me, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. The film was written and directed by his sister, Dina Amer.[22] It won the Audience Award at the Red Sea International Film Festival.[23] It also won an unprecedented four awards at REC Tarragona, including the CineClub Jury Prize, the Young Jury Prize and the Audience Award.[24]

Amer and Noujaim are developing a TV series "aimed at challenging perceptions of the Arab world as portrayed by such shows as Homeland and Tyrant".[25]

Amer is set to produce a limited series about Boeing’s controversial 737 Max planes. The untitled project, which is now in early development at Amazon Studios, hails from Oscar-winning screenwriter Chris Terrio and is expected to star Jeremy Strong, who will headline and executive produce as well.[26] Amer is also working on a Showtime documentary series focusing on the scandal-ridden Lincoln Project and its co-founder Steve Schmidt, along with actor and liberal activist Fisher Stevens.[27]


Year Film
2012 Rafea: Solar Mama[28]
2013 The Square
2017 The Breadwinner
2019 The Great Hack
2019 Ramy
2019 Revolution Rent
2020 The Vow
2021 You Resemble Me
2022 Flight/Risk
2022 The Lincoln Project

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result
2013 Sundance Film Festival - Audience Award for The Square Won
2013 Toronto Film Festival - Audience Award for The Square Won
2013 International Documentary Association - Best Feature for The Square Won
2013 International Documentary Association - Humanitas Award for The Square Nominated
2013 Dubai International Film Festival - Best Documentary Film for The Square Won
2014 Academy Awards - Best Documentary Feature for The Square Nominated
2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Best Documentary for The Square Nominated
2014 Cinema Eye Honors - Outstanding Achievement in Production for The Square Nominated
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards - Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special for The Square Won
2018 Academy Awards - Best Animated Feature for The Breadwinner Nominated
2019 International Documentary Association - Creative Recognition Award: Best Writing for The Great Hack Won
2020 BAFTA Awards - Best Documentary for The Great Hack Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards - Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special for The Great Hack Nominated
2022 Kerala International Film Festival - Golden Crow Pheasant for You Resemble Me Nominated


  1. ^ Carole Cadwalladr (20 July 2019). "The Great Hack: the film that goes behind the scenes of the Facebook data scandal". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  2. ^ "The Square: an Egyptian Oscar nominee that won't be shown in Egypt". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  3. ^ "The Square: List of Awards". Imdb. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  4. ^ a b Barnes, Henry (3 June 2015). "Sony hacking saga to feature in cyber-crime documentary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-09-13 – via www.theguardian.com.
  5. ^ Thompson, Anne (1 August 2019). "'The Great Hack' Terrified Sundance Audiences, and Then the Documentary Got Even Scarier". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  6. ^ "The Square: List of Awards". Imdb. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  7. ^ "The Square: an Egyptian Oscar nominee that won't be shown in Egypt". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  8. ^ Thompson, Anne (August 1, 2019). "'The Great Hack' Terrified Sundance Audiences, and Then the Documentary Got Even Scarier". IndieWire. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  9. ^ Johnson, Eric (July 31, 2019). "Cambridge Analytica made "ethical mistakes" because it was too focused on regulation, former COO says". Vox. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  10. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (June 2, 2015). "Sony Hack Movie in the Works from Oscar-Nominated Team (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  11. ^ Miller, Ross (2 June 2015). "An Oscar-nominated documentary team is working on a film about the Sony hacks". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  12. ^ "The Great Hack: how the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandal unfolded". The National. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  13. ^ "Persuasion Machines". Sundance Festival. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  14. ^ "Karim Amer Production Credits". IMDB. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  15. ^ "Ramy: Season 1 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  16. ^ "HBO Sets Premiere For 'Revolution Rent' Doc From Exec Producer Neil Patrick Harris". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  17. ^ Pederson, Erik (April 18, 2019). "HBO Sets Docuseries On NXIVM, Self-Help Group Tied To Sex-Trafficking Case". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  18. ^ "HBO Documentary Series to Look Inside the NXIVM Organization". HBO. April 18, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  19. ^ Stuever, Hank (December 8, 2020). "Best TV of 2020: 'I May Destroy You,' 'Normal People,' the Democratic convention and more". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  20. ^ Baldwin, Kristen; Franich, Darren (December 2, 2020). "The best and worst TV shows of 2020". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  21. ^ Ali, Lorraine (December 7, 2020). "The 10 best TV shows of 2020". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  22. ^ "YOU RESEMBLE ME". Cineuropa. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  23. ^ "Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Film Festival concludes with red carpet and gala awards ceremony". Arab.news. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  24. ^ "'Piccolo corpo' se impone en el festival de cine REC, de Tarragona". Elpais.com. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  25. ^ "Team Behind Oscar-Nominated Doc 'The Square' Working on Anti-'Tyrant' TV Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  26. ^ "Jeremy Strong To Star In & EP 737 Max Limited Series From Chris Terrio In Works At Amazon Studios & Plan B". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  27. ^ "Behind-the-scenes Lincoln Project documentary on Showtime won't be flattering to Steve Schmidt". Fox News. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  28. ^ "Rafea: Solar Mama". Doc NYC. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  29. ^ "Karim Amer Awards". Imdb. Retrieved 2022-06-20.

External links[edit]