Michele Ohayon is an award winning director, writer and producer. Born in Casablanca and raised in Israel, Michele graduated from Tel Aviv University (Film & Television), after serving in the army. Her critically acclaimed feature documentaries include: It was a Wonderful Life (1987, narrated by Jodie Foster) (PBS), Colors Straight Up (1997) (Nominated for an Academy Award, Directors Guild of America, Spirit awards and won 13 National awards), Cowboy del Amor (2005) (winner SXSW both jury and audience award), Steal a Pencil for Me, (2007), produced with Netflix. Winner Jerusalem Film Festival, S.OS./State of Security (2010) (Berlin film festival) and Solar Roadways, (Tribeca film festival). In 1984, she received the Israeli Best Film Award for ‘Pressure’, one of the first dramatic films on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 1987, she moved to Los Angeles, where she went on to direct many acclaimed documentary features.
In 2013 Ohayon made the Academy of Motion Pictures tribute film for Angelina Jolie, narrated by Morgan Freeman, and for Jolie’s Governor’s academy award for her humanitarian work, and in 2014 tribute film for Jean Claude Carriere, Academy Award, narrated by Jeremy Irons, with Irons, Richard Gere, Natalie Porman, Juliet Binoche and Isabelle Huppert. Michele has also moderated the first TV summit for the Berlin Film Festival 2014, followed by “Hollywood Inside and Out” at the Sarajevo film festival 2014, and served on juries of various festivals, including Berlin and Sarajevo.
Michele is the CEO and Co-Founded the Kavana Entertainment based in Los Angeles with a mission to bridge between Hollywood and Europe, and offer seminars, lectures and consulting for filmmakers around the world. Michele is also a fiction film writer with numerous screenplays developed by major studios such as MGM, Focus Films and Starz cable. She has been a guest speaker/lecturer at various schools and colleges, including UCLA, AFI, USC, UVA, Georgetown, Wesleyan, Stanford, Chapman, Kenyon and more. For her body of work, Michele received the 1996 and the 1998 Artist’s Grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and was recognized for her fiction writing in the Chesterfield Writing Competition 2000. Michele is one of the founders of Cinewomen. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures where she serves on the International committee, foreign film committee and the educational/grants committee. She is also a member of the WGA, PGA and IDA.