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Tala Hadid (born in London, England) trained as a painter.
Hadid co-produced and directed her first full-length film while she was studying as an undergraduate at Brown University. The film, Sacred Poet, focuses the lens on the Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini with rare interviews with Laura Betti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Citti and Ninetto Davoli.
The author of several short films, in 2000 while she was working on a project on the Macedonian Roma community in Naples, Italy, she was awarded a fellowship to study film at the graduate film department at Columbia University in New York City.
In 2005, Hadid completed her thesis film, Tes Cheveux Noirs Ihsan. The film, shot in Northern Morocco and in the Rif Mountains, was awarded the 2005 Cinecolor/Kodak Prize and in June 2005 received a Student Academy Award. It has screened at numerous Film Festivals including the New York Film Festival at the Lincoln Center, the Sundance Film Festival, the Rotterdam Film Festival (where it was nominated for a Tiger Award), the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran, the Kiev International Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, the International Film Festival Oberhausen and L'Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The film went on to win numerous awards including the Global Lens Prize, A BAFTA special mention and a Special Jury Prize and best Actress Award at the Tangiers International Film Festival. In February 2006 the film won the Panorama Best short Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Hadid's work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)in New York City, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C, L'Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the Goteberg Kunsthalle in Sweden, the Goethe Institute, Cairo, the Seville Biennale in Spain, the Jonathon Schorr Gallery NYC, the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), the Cinémathèque Française in Paris, as well as the Photographer's Gallery in London and the Cinémathèque de Tanger.
In 2010/2011, Hadid worked on an independent project entitled Heterotopia, a series of photographs documenting life in a New York City brothel. In 2012 she was awarded the Peter S Reed Foundation Arts grant in support of her documentary film work in Morocco. In the autumn of 2013 a small volume of a selection of her photographs was published by Stern Fotografie Portfolio series of emerging photographers.
In 2014, Hadid completed work on Itarr el Layl ("The Narrow Frame of Midnight"), a feature film about a man in search of his missing brother. The main character Zacharia, played by Khalid Abdalla, journeys through Morocco to Turkey and eventually to Iraq. Along the way he meets a child runaway, a pimp, Iraqi refugees, and jihadist operatives. The film premiered at the Toronto film Festival and went on to screen at various film festivals and venues, including the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at the Lincoln Center in New York, the Rome Film Festival, London Film Festival and the Walker Arts Center among other places. The film stars Marie-Josée Croze, Fedwa Boujouane, Hocine Choutri and Hindi Zahra. In early 2015 the film won best film and critics prize at the Tangier National film festival, Jury Prize at Pleins les Yeux in the Netherlands, Credit Agricole Prize in Nice, France and the audience award for Best Narrative feature at the Mizna Film Festival in Minneapolis. In September 2015, Hadid's project House in the Fields was selected to screen as a work-in-progress at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival organised by La Biennale di Venezia where it was awarded two prizes. In February 2017, the film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival where it was nominated for the Glashütte Original Documentary Award.
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