Most famous for her award-winning films Bombay Beach and LoveTrue, Alma Har’el creates narrative work that plunges deep into the heart of imagination and creates surreal, dream-like poetic meditations on life. Her wildly inventive approach to filmmaking produces genre-redefining work which is exceptional, fearless, and artistically blurs the line between documentary and fiction.
Born in Tel Aviv she began her film career as a photographer & video artist, mixing live video content for concerts which then led to directing music videos. Filmmaker Magazine said her music video for Sigur Rós ‘FJÖGER PIANO’ starring Shia LaBeouf contains a “truthful fusion of fantasy and reality” after naming her one of their 25 new faces of cinema.
Her documentary Bombay Beach took top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011, was nominated for the Indie Spirit awards and has been taught in several universities, including Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and NYU, as a genre redefining work.
Her latest film, LoveTrue, saw her collaborating again with Shia LaBeouf, this time with him in the executive producer’s seat. The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival to rapturous applause in April 2016, with Indiewire writing ‘LoveTrue confirms that Alma Har’el makes movies like nothing else out there.
Her commercial work for brands like Airbnb, Facebook and P&G captures real life from a magical yet realistic perspective, garnering numerous awards for her innovative style. Her short film JellyWolf for Chanel was described as “The trippiest fashion film ever made” by Elle Magazine and won Clio, Tribeca X, D&AD and Ciclope awards.
In 2016, Har’el founded advocacy nonprofit Free The Bid, a pledge which asks agencies and brands to promise to include a woman director on any triple-bid commercial project. As of its first anniversary, in September, Free the Bid had 40 agencies and 10 major brands (including HP, Visa, eBay, Airbnb, Coca-Cola, LinkedIn, Levi’s and Twitter) on board, with pledged agencies such as BBDO and CP+B reporting hiring increases of women directors of up to 400%.
Har’el was listed among Ad Age’s Creativity 50 for her work with Free The Bid and as a director, included alongside such cultural game-changers as Patty Jenkins, Rihanna, Reed Morano, and Jordan Peele. Her Olympic campaign for P&G, “#LoveOverBias” earned her a nomination for the 2017 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials.