Hazim Bitar Films
NOTE: This is my new website and it's work in progress.
Hazim Bitar is a Palestinian-Jordanian producer, writer, and director. He founded the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative, which served as the launching pad for some of Jordan's leading independent filmmakers. Since its founding, the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative has provided free cinema education and production services to hundreds of Jordanians and Palestinians, mainly in disadvantaged areas.
His credits include numerous award-winning documentaries and films; his cooperative has produced short films that have been selected to various Academy-certified short film festivals. His filmography includes Fish Above Sea Level (2011), The View (2008), Overdose (2005), Growing Up in Amman's Suburbia (2006), Sharar (2006), Jerusalem's High Cost of Living (2000), and Uncivil Liberties (1999).
Bitar is the founder and director of the Jordan Short Film Festival (JSFF), established in 2005 with the main purpose of giving voice to Jordanian indie filmmakers. Though small in size, the festival quickly evolved into a regional player through which numerous independent Arab and other filmmakers have made their debut on the international film festival circuit.
UPDATE: The Amman Filmmakers Cooperative and the Jordan Short Film Festival have been suspended as a statement of protest in response to the "unresolved" murders of and attacks on non-violent Jordanian activists by thugs loyal to the Jordanian regime.
He is invited frequently to international forums to speak on independent cinema of the South. In 2007, L' Institute Français du Proche-Orient, a prominent French think tank on the Middle East, named Bitar as one of 27 influential Jordanian figures. Bitar served on the international jury of the academy-certified Tampere International Film Festival and Huesca Film Festival.
Hazim Bitar was born in Saudi Arabia to Palestinian parents who were exiled by the Israeli invasion and occupation. He migrated to the USA to pursue his education, before he moved to Jordan in 2002. He completed his undergraduate studies in Computer and Information Science from the Millersville University, PA, and a Masters of Art in Organizational Management from the George Washington University, Washington DC.
His entry into filmmaking has roots in civil and human rights activism. He produced a number of documentaries in support of United Nations projects with focus on refugees and women issues.