Arabian Nights, Camera Lights
Ali Alkhafaji is an Arab-Dutch director, writer, and actor. When he's not filming, he's usually hiking or crying over a piano.
Originally from Peoria, Illinois, home of the world-famous Avanti's Gondola & less-famous Richard Pryor, Ali became fascinated by film at a young age. He would lug around a beat up video camera recording spoofs of Forest Gump & The Odyssey. By high school, he met a group of like-minded weirdos that enjoyed making movies. One fateful night, they staged a fake kidnapping in front of a movie theater...cops were called, honor-roll students jailed, & a beautiful mockumentary was made. They screened the film at the same theater to a sold out crowd of cheering students.
After obtaining a bachelor's degree in Construction Management from Bradley University, Ali delved into a decade-long career as a Project Manager for some of the world's leading construction firms. However, his passion for filmmaking never waned. Eventually, Ali decided to hang up his hard hat and plunge headfirst back into the world of cinema.
He relocated to Austin & now runs three film festivals (Austin Under the Stars, Austin Spotlight, & LA Under the Stars) that donate a large portion of their proceeds to various Autism organizations. His primary artistic focus is horror comedy, although he dabbles in commercial, industrial, and music videos.The film festival circuit has been kind awarding him Best Director, Actor, Writer, Picture, Best in Show, Dark Comedy, Best Horror Comedy, Best Narrative, Best Story, Most Original Concept, Best Special FX, and a few others that his Mom hung up on the fridge.
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