Ilan Ziv was born in Israel in 1950 and came to the United States
after fighting in the Yom Kippur (The October) War in 1973.
Ilan Ziv is a graduate of New York University film school,
and in 1978 he co-produced New York's first Middle East Film Festival.
That same year he founded Icarus Films, an educational film distribution
company, which he left in 1980 in order devote himself to making
documentary films, and since then he has directed dozens of documentaries
dealing broadly with issues of human rights and investigations of
His most recent film Jesus Politics ; The Bible and the Ballot, a personal examination of the role of religion in American politics is currently playing on many PBS stations.
The film premiered before the recent US elections in France, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Austria and Denmark. It was hailed by the Toronto Globe & Mail as a "fascinating documentary...admirably balanced". The Times of London called it "an Eye opening film" . La Vie in France described it as "gripping" "highly original..point of view...powerful imagery and spectacular editing", wrote Israel Today.
In June 2007 his film Six Days : the war that changed the Middle East opened theatrically in New York and was broadcast around the world including on PBS in the United States.
“helmet Ilan Ziv provides invaluable
perspective and fresh insights while offering an enlightening history
lesson with the narrative momentum of an engrossing drama” -Variety .
“Six Days gives the Battle of Algiers , a run for its money
“ -Time out
With interviews with insiders and a number
of key players, and a wealth of archival footage, Ziv's gripping
film is as tense as any Hollywood movie and filled with a cast of
larger-than-life personalities. - TV
His other critically-acclaimed films have included On
the Edge of Peace (1995); Tango
of Slaves (1994); and Human Weapon(2002)
hailed by the New York Times as “gripping and important”.
His films have been broadcast by leading television networks and
presented in film festivals around the world. Accolades include
the Prix Europa (Europe highest television award), Silver Nymph
and International Jury Award in Monte Carlo, and Cine Eagle in the
United States. The Best Documentary Award at Israel's Haifa International
Ilan Ziv has been a pioneer in the United States of developing a
new kind of television documentaries where ordinary people working
in collaboration with professionals are producing personal records
of their lives Ilan Ziv produced and co produced “Video Diaries”
with the BBC , ARD , Israeli Television, IKON (Dutch TV), PBS (US)
and Channel 4 in the UK. Some of these unique documentaries premiered
in int’l film festivals including Sundance.