Hisham M. Bizri

Hisham M. Bizri

Fellow: Awarded 2007
Field of Study: Film

Competition: US & Canada

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Hisham Bizri is a filmmaker from Lebanon. He has worked in the U.S. and Hungary with filmmakers Raoul Ruiz and Miklós Jancsó and has made short films in the U.S., Lebanon, Ireland, Korea, and France. Much of his work may be viewed as meditations on the themes of exile and melancholy. These visual meditations are shaped by his personal experience as someone who lives between the Middle East of his Lebanese homeland and Anglo/European culture and art. Emerging from this personal context, his films create a dialectic between the retinal/material impact of the image and its conceptual possibility in order to depict the world he lives in. In this way, his films may be viewed as the material expression of intuition and emotions, but also as a way to understand how we construct ourselves as people.

His work has been shown in the Arab world and internationally, including at the Louvre Museum (Paris), Biennale Des Cinema Arabes (Paris), Milan Film Festival, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), Harvard Film Archives (Cambridge), Reina Sofia (Madrid), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Cinémathèque Française (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), and Cairo Opera House, among other venues.

Mr. Bizri has served as a jurist for a number of international film festivals including the Chicago International Film Festival. He has been instrumental in establishing filmmaking at the Lebanese American University (Lebanon, 1995), the Korean National University (Korea, 1999), and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT (2000-2003). He is also the cofounder of the Arab Institute of Film (AIF Amman, 2005), a project supported by Denmark’s International Media Support and by the Ford Foundation.

In addition to his Guggenheim Fellowship Hisham Bizri has received  grants from New York, Massachusetts, and San Francisco arts councils as well as the LEF, McKnight, Jerome, and Rockefeller foundations, among others. In 2008 he won the McKnight Filmmaking Fellowship from the Independent Feature Project (IFP) as well as the American Academy Rome Prize and was named the John Armstrong Chaloner/Jacob H. Lazarus Metropolitan Museum of Art fellow by the Academy. He is currently a professor of film at the University of Minnesota.


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