(Nazareth, Palestine, 1960) is a Palestinian actor and filmmaker who has extensive experience in both directing and screenwriting. Often compared with filmmakers Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton, Elia Suleiman deals with both the burlesque and the serious with a similar poetic sense.
While in the United States, he directed his first two short films: Introduction to the end of an argument and Homage by assassination, winning numerous awards. In 1994 he settled down in Jerusalem, where the European Commission had entrusted him with the mission of creating a Film and Media Department at Birzeit University.
His first feature film, Chronicle of a disappearance, won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival. In 2002 Divine intervention won the Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize of the Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Best Foreign Film Prize at the European Awards in Rome. In 2007 he was chosen as one of the 35 directors of To each his own cinema, a collective film for the Cannes Film Festival 60th anniversary. The time that remains was in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. In 2012 he completed a short film titled Diary of a beginner, part of a collective feature titled 7 days in Havana. The film was in the official section Un Certain Regard in the Cannes Film Festival. His last feature film, titled It must be heaven, won the Jury Special Mention in Cannes in 2019 and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize of the Cannes Film Festival.