22 April 1977|
Kibbutz HaZore'a, Israel
|Occupation||Film producer, film director|
Yonatan Nir (born April 22, 1977) is an award-winning Israeli documentary film director and producer and a former photojournalist.
Yonatan Nir grew up in Kibbutz HaZore'a, in Northern Israel. He served in an elite commando unit, and was injured during the 2006 Lebanon War, in which he participated as a reserve soldier. This experience led him to take an interest in post-trauma and rehabilitation; recurring themes in his films.
Nir began his professional career as an underwater photographer and photojournalist, working for a number of media outlets including Haaretz, Yedioth Ahronoth and Asian Geographic. Nir is a graduate of the Camera Obscura School of Art in Tel Aviv, where he specialized in film and television.
Nir’s films have won several awards, including Best Documentary Film Award and Audience Choice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Honorary Mention Award at the Woodstock Film Festival, and Best International Director Award at the Documentary Edge Festival in New Zealand.
Dolphin Boy (72 min, 2011) - tells the story of Morad, a boy who undergoes 3 years of dolphin therapy in Eilat, after being brutally attacked and suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel (71 min, 2017) - tells the story of Wilfrid Israel, a wealthy Jewish businessman and owner of Berlin’s largest department store in the 1930s, who was involved in the saving of 20,000 Jews during World War II.
Additional films include AMOS - The Impossible Shot (post-production), Beyond the Boundaries and Cutting the Pain.
- Red Sea Reboot. Haaretz, Nirit Anderman, July 15, 2011
- Interview: Yonatan Nir, director of My Hero Brother. Shalom.Kiwi, Shoshana Maasland, June 4, 2017
- The incredible life of a combat soldier who decided to amputate his foot (Hebrew). Mako, Yariv Peleg, August 7, 2014
- My Hero Brother: Interview with Yonatan Nir. The Jewish Week, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, August 12, 2017
- An Interview With Yonatan Nir. Lens Magazine, Issue 12
- Yonatan Nir, co-director and co-producer of Dolphin Boy. Euromed Audiovisual, February 20, 2012
- ‘Dolphin Boy’ gets picked up by Disney. The Times of Israel, Jessica Steinberg, November 26, 2013
- Santa Barbara Film Festival Announces 2017 Award Winners. Variety, Sarah Ahern, February 11, 2017
- Santa Barbara Film Festival Winds Up Starry Session with Indie Prizes. IndieWire, Anne Thompson, February 11, 2017
- Documentary Winners Announced at Doc Edge Festival. Scoop Independent News, May 25, 2017
- Yonatan Nir's biography on Hey Jude Productions
- A Beaten Teenager Seeks Solace in Another Species. New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis, April 26, 2012
- Dolphin ‘Psychotherapists’ Treat Severe Trauma. The Jerusalem Post, Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, July 8, 2012
- Dolphin Boy. The Village Voice, Andrew Schenker, April 25, 2012
- How India helped to rewrite relationships between the disabled and their families. Economic Times, Faizal Khan, October 16, 2016
- Meet the Makers. Independent, Matt Kettmann, January 26, 2017
- Inspirational Israeli film screening in South Florida. Sun Sentinel, Sergio Carmona, January 13, 2017
- “MY HERO BROTHER” – A TRIBUTE TO THE HUMAN SPIRIT. Santa Monica Mirror, Beverly Cohn, February 21, 2017
- Toronto Jewish Film Festival. The Times of Israel, Sheldon Kirshner, April 18, 2017
- Wilfrid Israel, an unsung Holocaust hero, gets his due. The Times of Israel, Jessica Steinberg, January 14, 2018.