Jehane Noujaim

Director, The Square
Nominated for: Best Documentary

Egyptian‐American filmmaker JEHANE NOUJAIM has worked on various documentaries in both the Middle East and the United States. Before graduating from Harvard, she was awarded the Gardiner Fellowship for Mokattam, an Arabic film she directed about a garbage-­collecting village near Cairo, Egypt. Jehane then joined the MTV News and Documentary Division as  a segment producer for the documentary series Unfiltered. She soon left her position at MTV to produce and direct the feature documentary, StartUp.com. The critically acclaimed film won countless awards including the DGA and IDA awards for best director. Jehane continued to work on numerous documentaries as a cinematographer including: Born Rich, Only The Strong Survive, and Down From The Mountain, before directing Control Room in 2004. Control Room, which also met with critical acclaim, is a documentary that exposes the difference in media coverage between the Arab and Western world during the United States’ war with Iraq.

Control Room opened in theaters internationally and broke box office records for a documentary on Middle East Affairs. It was for this film that Jehane won the coveted TED Prize in 2006, previously awarded to Bono and President Clinton. Each TED Prize winner is granted a wish to change the world. Jehane’s wish was to create a day in which the power of film could bring people from all over the world together to form a global community and perhaps form a new understanding of each other. This day was Pangea Day; a live video-conference featuring music, film, and speaker that took place in Cairo, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, as well as other cities, in over 100 countries. Jehane has continued to work in the U.S. and in the Middle East on films as an executive producer for such films as Encounter Point and Budrus. She has also co­‐directed Egypt: We Are Watching You, which premiered as one of the ten films in the Why Democracy Series focusing on contemporary democracy around the globe. In 2012, she co-directed Rafea: Solar Mama, an award-­‐winning film about a Jordanian woman who travels to India with the dream of becoming a solar engineer. The Square, the Sundance Audience Award‐winning film chronicling the heart of the Egyptian revolution, is her 5th feature-length documentary.