Acclaimed actor Haaz Sleiman is the latest cultural ambassador to join forces with the Levantine Cultural Center. Haaz recently took his talent "across the pond" to star as "Omar Habash" in The Promise, a ground-breaking Channel 4 2011 mini-series that premiered in the UK, and just received a coveted BAFTA nomination for its gritty depiction of the founding of Israel through the eyes of a British soldier in 1947 and his granddaughter retracing his steps nearly 60 years later. The LCC will be screening The Promise, fall-winter 2012.
The Promise isn't the first project Sleiman has starred in that has received industry recognition... In 2009, Sleiman garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role in The Visitor (Overture Films) by award-winning filmmaker, Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent), it also won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. Sleiman and his cast members—that included Oscar® nominee, Richard Jenkins and award-winning Palestinian actress, Hiam Abbass—were also nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Ensemble Cast. At its world premiere in the Toronto Film Festival, the film and Sleiman also received critical acclaim.
Since The Visitor, Sleiman has starred in the indie films, Dorfman and the upcoming comedy, Highland Park. A romantic comedy, Dorfman also stars the very funny and gifted Sara Rue along with Oscar® nominated-actor, Elliot Gould and Sophie Monk. Sleiman's other film credits include AmericanEast—the gripping drama helmed by writer-director, Hesham Issawi and co-written with Sayed Badreya—about an Arab family man (Badreya), who opens a Middle Eastern restaurant with his Jewish best friend (Monk star and three-time Emmy® winner, Tony Shalhoub); and Universal's American Dreamz, directed by Paul Weitz (American Pie, In Good Company) with Hugh Grant and Dennis Quaid, as well as, Oscar® winner, Marcia Gay Harden and two-time Oscar® nominee, Willem Dafoe. Sleiman has also starred in the films Offside: The Price of Dreams and What Goes Around.
Sleiman has extensive credits in television, and has also appeared on stage. His theatrical credits include playing an Iranian soldier in the Off-Broadway play, Joys of Lipstick, about a family that moves to the U.S. and struggles to hold onto its culture. In addition, he performed in a one-man tour-de-force, A Portrait of a Young Arab as an American at Santa Monica's renowned Highways Performance Space.
Originally a computer science major at the Lebanese American University, Sleiman has always been fascinated by American cinema and decided to enroll in a theatre class. There his passion for acting was ignited. After he relocated to the U.S., he completed his degree at Wayne State University. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue his other passion, music, as well as, acting, where he continued to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse, among other workshops. Today, with quite a few credits and accolades under his belt, Sleiman is considered one of the actors to watch...