Raphael Nadjari is an Israeli-French filmmaker, director and screenwriter, born 1971 in Marseille, France. Nadjari is an intriguing and challenging filmmaker, with a voice and technique unique in contemporary Israeli, as well as international, cinema. Nadjari sees the ethics of Jewish identity as an enigma; he raises questions about it, even though the answers or solutions he offers are not always easy ones. For this reason, his films deal mostly with the existential conflict inherent in the Jewish identity of his characters and their world. Nadjari`s filmmaking process is improvisational, and he creates the scenes in collaboration with his actors while freely drawing from the script. Rather than writing the dialogs ahead of time, he improvises them with his actors until he’s happy with the outcome. He sees improvisation and collaborating with his actors while creating a scene as the cornerstones of his work as a filmmaker.
Nadjari studied visual arts, and in 1993 began his career as a screenwriter and director on French television. His first three films were shot in New York and successfully expressed the meaninglessness of young people seeking cure and comfort through love in the big, alienated city – love that is never unconditional.

His 1999 film The Shade was selected for a competition that formed part of the prestigious “Un Certain Regard” at the Cannes Film Festival of that year. His second film, I Am Josh Polonski’s Brother, was released in 2001 as part of the Berlin Film Festival`s “Forum”. During that same year, he also shot the film Apartment #5c, released in 2002 as part of the “Directors` Fortnight” at Cannes. In 2004 Nadjari moved to Israel, where he shot the following films. Avanim, released in 2004, starring Asi Levy and filmed in Tel Aviv, describes the tribulations of a woman going through emotional detachment and post-trauma following a terrorist attack.

Tehilim, released in 2007, filmed in Jerusalem, and presented at Cannes Festival the same year, is about the two young sons of a missing father. In 2009 Nadjari set aside his personal work and turned to the exploration of Israeli cinema. His film A History of Israeli Cinema is a six-hour account of the history of Israeli cinema throughout its different periods. It begins with the Zionist propagandist cinema of the 30′s, on to the artistic and commercial cinema of the 60′s and 70′s, then the fascination with the Palestinian “other” in the 80′s, and finally the personal, poetic and ethnic cinema of the 90′s and the millennium. The first part of the six-hours covers 1932 to 1978, and the second part covers 1978 to 2005. In 2013 Nadjari created A Strange Course of Events. Filmed entirely in Haifa, the film stars Ori Pfeffer, Michaela Eshet and Moni Moshonov. Nadjari returned to the Cannes Film Festival in 2013 with this film, which describes a detached father and son, and their attempt to reconnect.

Nadjari`s new feature film, Night Song, is scheduled to be released soon. This film, which Nadjari shot in Canada, is a French-Canadian coproduction. It recounts the relationship of a Jewish couple, both musicians of French origin who live in Canada and manage a choir of all-Jewish music.