Hany Abu-Assad / The Idol

Hany Abu-Assad / The Idol


Hany Abu-Assad is a Dutch-Palestinian film director. Born in Nazareth in 1961, he moved with his family to the Netherlands as a young man. There he studied engineering and worked as an engineer for two years before getting a job as a producer of documentaries and shorts with Dutch TV. 

In 2002, his 2nd feature Rana’s Wedding, about a girl from Jerusalem, who had until 4pm to get married or else leave with her father to Cairo, gained Abu-Assad accolades on the festival circuit. 

It wasn’t until Paradise Now (2005) about two childhood friends who volunteer to become suicide bombers, that the world took notice. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. 

His 3rd feature Omar, (ANA2014), about a young Palestinian freedom fighter who becomes an informant after he's tricked into an admission of guilt by association in the wake of an Israeli soldier's killing, was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. 

His latest film The Idol (2015), in which he has a cameo, is based on the real-life story of Mohammad Assaf, the Palestinian singer and winner of the 2nd season of “Arab Idol”. 

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