After having studied and worked as an airplane engineer in the Netherlands for several years, Hany Abu-Assad entered the world of cinema and television as a producer. He formed Ayloul Film Productions in 1990 and worked on television programmes about foreign immigrants and documentaries like DAR O DAR for Channel 4 and LONG DAYS IN GAZA for the BBC.
In 1992 Hany Abu-Assad wrote and directed his first short film, PAPER HOUSE. The film depicts the adventures of a thirteen year old Palestinian boy, who tries to build his own (dream-) house after his families original house has been destroyed. PAPER HOUSE was made for NOS Dutch television and won several international awards at film festivals, a.o. in Paris and Jerusalem.
One year later, Hany produced the feature film CURFEW, directed by Rashid Masharawi. An international co-production between Argus Film Productions, WDR, ARTE and AVRO, CURFEW was critically highly praised, winning awards like the Gold Pyramid in Cairo, the Unesco Prize in Cannes and three additional prizes in Montpellier.
After his second short THE 13TH, which he wrote, produced and directed, Hany engaged on his first full-length feature project as a director. He teamed up with writer Arnon Grunberg to develop a script that challenged and explored cinematic narrative and style in a comedy about a couple in Amsterdam. The film entitled THE FOURTEENTH CHICK was the opening film for the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht 1998.
Other recent works include the bittersweet documentary NAZARETH 2000, which Hany made for Dutch VPRO television. The turmoil in a divided city and its quarrelling inhabitants, Christians and Moslems, is viewed through the eyes of two gas station attendants. Combining both a kind and a satirical approach to a serious subject matter, Hany succeeded in creating a multifaceted and surprisingly humorous documentary.
Since the establishment of Augustus Film with Bero Beyer in 2000, Hany has been developing the script for IN BETWEEN TWO DAYS and RANA’S WEDDING, both full-length feature dramas. RANA’S WEDDING is a production realised with the support of the Palestinian Film Foundation of the Ministry of Culture of the Palestinian National Authority and describes a day in the life of a young woman in Jerusalem, during which she tries to get married before four o’ clock that day. The film was selected for the Semaine Internationale de la critique 2002 and went on to win prizes in Montpellier, Marrakech, Bastia and Cologne.
- Rana’s Wedding (Jerusalem, Another Day) Director (2002, 90 min, drama, 35 mm) Written by L. Bader and Ihab Lamey. Selected for the Semaine Internationale de la Critique, Festival de Cannes 2002. Produced by Augustus Film with the support of the Palestinian Film Foundation. Closing film Dutch Film Festival Utrecht. Best Actress Award for Clara Khoury at the Marrakech Film Festival. Antigone d’Or & Critics Award at Montpellier, Grand Prize at Mediterranean Film Festival Cologne.
- Nazareth 2000 Director (2000, 55 min, documentary, 16 mm, for VPRO television)
- Arabs of 2001 (De Arabieren van 2001) Director (2000, 25 min, documentary, Betacam, for IKON television)
- Het Spijkerkwartier Director (1999, 25 min, documentary, Betacam, for IKON television)
- The Fourteenth Chick Director (1998, 83 min, drama, 35 mm) Written by Arnon Grunberg. With a/o. Antonie Kamerling, Thekla Reuten and Peer Mascini. Selected as the opening film of the Netherlands Film Festival Utrecht 1998. Released by UIP.
- Ik wil dat worden Director / Producer (1997, 20 min, documentary, Betacam, for the A.P.S.)
- The 13th Writer / Director / Producer (1997, 10 min, drama, 35 mm) Selected by the International Film Festival Rotterdam 1997. Nominated for the NPS-prize for short films
- Onverwachte Natuur Writer / Director (1996, 6 items for VARA television) Presented by Ivo de Wijs
- Doing my best (Mijn best doen) Director / Producer (1995, 20 min, documentary, Betacam, for the A.P.S.)
- Chronicles of a Disappearance Line-Producer (1995, 88 min, drama, 35 mm) Directed by Elia Suleiman
- Curfew Producer (1993, 75 min, drama, 35 mm) Directed by Rashid Masharawi. A co-production with Argus Film Productions with WDR, ARTE and AVRO. Winner Gold Pyramid at the International Film Festival in Cairo, winner UNESCO-prize at the International Film Festival Cannes 1994 and winner three prizes (Main Prize, Audience Award and Critics Award) at the International Film Festival de Cinema Mediterraneen in Montpellier.
- Paper House Writer / Director (1992, 28 min, drama, 16 mm, for the NOS) Winner 2nd prize at the International Film Festival Jerusalem for Best Short Film, winner 1st prize International Ismaillia Festival for Engaged Film, winner Audience Award at the Biènnale des Cinémas Arabes in Paris and winner 'Tanit de Bronze' at the Carthage Film Festival
- Long Days in Gaza Producer (1991, 30 min, documentary, Betacam, for the BBC)
- To whom it may concern Director (1991, 15 min, documentary, Betacam)
- Dar 0 Dour Producer (1990, 52 min, documentary, Betacam, for Channel 4)