Director / Producer


    Michele Ohayon

  • About

    Michèle Ohayon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kavana Entertainment, based in Los Angeles, with a mission to bridge between Hollywood and the rest of the world. Kavana offers consulting and production services for filmmakers around the world.


    Michèle is an award winning director, writer and producer. Born in Casablanca and raised in Israel, Michèle graduated from Tel Aviv University (Film & Television). 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 such as: It was a Wonderful Life (1987, PBS) narrated by Jodie Foster, Colors Straight Up (1997, PBS) nominated for an Academy Award, Directors Guild of America, Spirit awards and won 13 National awards, Cowboy del Amor (2005, Showtime) winner SXSW both jury and audience award, nominated for WGA award, Steal a Pencil for Me (2007), produced with Netflix, winner Jerusalem Film Festival, and Sonoma Film Festival audience award, S.O.S./State of Security (2010) premiered in Berlin Film Festival and Solar Roadways at Tribeca Film Festival.


    In 2013, Ohayon made the tribute film for Angelina Jolie's Governors award, for the Academy of Motion Pictures, narrated by Morgan Freeman, and in 2014 the tribute film for Jean-Claude Carriere's Governors award, narrated by Jeremy Irons, with Irons, Richard Gere, Natalie Portman, Juliettte Binoche and Isabelle Huppert.


    In 2016, Michèle was a supervising producer on CNN's Believer, hosted by Reza Aslan, and is currently producing the feature documentaries 100 Years and Power, which she is also co-directing. Michèle has recently completed her new documentary Cristina (Palm Springs Short fest, 2016, Netflix Nov 15, 2016).


    Michèle 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 as well as participated in talent campuses all over the world.


    Michèle 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, Michèle received twice the Artist's Grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and was recognized for her fiction writing in the Chesterfield Writing Competition.


    Michèle is one of the founders of Cinewomen and she is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures where she serves on the Academy Executive Committee of the Documentary Branch, the International committee, the foreign film committee and the educational/grants committee. She is also a member of the WGA, DGA and IDA.

  • Films

    Cristina (2016)

    • Official Selection Palm Springs International Shortfest

    Now Playing on Netflix

    Solar Roadways (2015)

    • Tribeca Film Festival
    • Shefield Film Festival
    • Big Eddy Film Festival
    • Madeira Film Festival
    • Warsaw Film Festival
    • Anchorage Film Festival
    • Participant in Google X talks

    S.O.S. (2010)

    • Berlin Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Bergen International Film Festival, London Open City Docu Festival, MoMa NYC.
    • Selected to IDA Docu week- theatrical showcase  AUG-SEP 2011

    Steal a Pencil For Me (2007)

    • Audience Award - Sonoma Film Festival
    • Chairman of Yad Vashem Award,Jerusalem Film Festival 2007
    • Spirit of Anne Frank Honoree – Anne Frank Center USA
    • IDA Nominee, ABC/Video Source Award 2007

    Cowboy del Amor (2005)​

    • SXSW Jury and Audience Award
    • Best Documentary Feature – Santa Fe Film Festival
    • Best Documentary Screenplay – Writer’s Guild of America Award nominee
    • Filmmaker Award – Durango Int’l Film Festival
    • Best Documentary Cinefest, San Antonio

    Colors Straight Up (1997)

    • Academy Award Nominee - Best Feature Documentary
    • DGA Nominee – Outstanding Directorial Achievement
    • Spirit Award Nominee (IFP)
    • Cine Golden Eagle Award -“Truer than Life” – Golden Gate Award
    • Golden Spire for the Arts – SF Film Festival
    • Silver Plaque – Chicago International Film Festival
    • Audience Award and Special Jury Award -Hamptons Film Festival.
    • National Black Programming Consortium Awards (2)
    • Silver Medal – New York Festivals
    • Golden Apple – Educational Media Network
    • Council On Foundation Award
    • Women in Motion Award
    • Best Documentary – Savannah Film Festival

    It Was A Wonderful Life (1992)

    • Gold Award - Houston Film Festival
    • Special Jury Mention – Amsterdam Film Festival
    • Distinguished Award Nominee – IDA
    • Best Documentary Nominee – Hawaii Film Festival
    • Official Selection – Berlin Film Festival
  • Current Projects

    2018 - In Production:
    Untitled Original Documentary for Netflix​

    Directed and produced by Michele Ohayon

    Airing in March 2017 on CNN

    CNN's "Believer"

    Supervising CNN’s Believer is a 6 part documentary series hosted by Reza Aslan. EP Liz Bronstein, Andy Robertson. Airing in March 2017 on CNN. Michele Ohayon: Producer, Israel episode


    A documentary feature, produced by Mark David and Michèle Ohayon. Directed by Alexis Spraic, co-directed by Michèle Ohayon. Edited by Morgan Hanner and Edward Osei-Gyimah, Music by Richard Horowitz. Song by Angelique Kidjo.


    Exquisitely shot in 10 countries, the film shows how energy is the through-line connecting a small village in Uganda with a big Russian empire.

    100 Years

    A documentary feature, directed by Melinda Janko, Produced by Melinda Janko and Michèle Ohayon, Edited by Edgar Burcksen, additional Editing by Pat McMahon, music by Nicholas Pike.


    The story of Elouise Cobell, a Blackfeet Indian, wife, mother, rancher and banker who discovered billions of dollars missing from the government managed trust accounts belonging to 300,000 Native Americans, she took action.


    March 13, 2018 - PBS America Reframed
    March 20, 2018 - Netflix

    The Mother of Beauty

    Emmeline Snively was a "Mother of Beauty" for hundreds of international models in the 40's and 50's. Against this rich backdrop, the film explains how iconic beauty was created and how it shaped the face of Hollywood.


    A documentary feature, directed by Frank van Osch, Produced by Niekie Kleintjens, co-produced by Michèle Ohayon/Kavana Entertainment.

    East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem

    A documentary feature, Directed by Henrique Cymerman and Erez Miller, Produced by Gidi Avivi, Executive Produced by Michèle Ohayon, Edited by Erez Miller.


    David Broza, an Israeli singer-songwriter, sets out to open dialog between the Israelis and Palestinians through music.

  • Reach Out

    Michele Ohayon