Director / Producer / Writer


    Michèle Ohayon

  • About

    Michèle Ohayon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kavana Entertainment Inc, 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, Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert.


    In 2016, Michèle was a supervising producer on CNN's Believer, hosted by Reza Aslan and completed her documentary Cristina (Palm Springs ShortsFest). In 2017, Michele produced the award winning film 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice, now streaming on Netflix. She's currently in post-production on a Netflix Original feature documentary.


    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. In 2019, she returned to Berlin for the European Film Market, speaking on the "How To Navigate The Award Season" panel. She also spoke on the panel "Film and Technology: The Love Hate Narrative" at the NYU Rennert Forum that same year.


    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 Picture Arts and Sciences where she serves on the Academy Executive Committee of the International Films, the Documentary Branch, and the educational/grants committee. She is also a member of the WGA, DGA and IDA.

  • Films

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    The Unbreakable Tatiana Suarez (2024)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    This uplifting documentary chronicles the exceptional spirit and drive of mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Tatiana Suarez as she prepares to reenter the cage after nearly four years away from the sport. Suarez reflects on her journey from wrestling prodigy to professional athlete and the legacy she leaves young women, particularly those in the Latina community.

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    Strip Down, Rise Up (2021)​

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    The feature documentary follows women of all walks of life, all ages and ethnic backgrounds, as they shed trauma, body image shame, sexual abuse and other issues locked in their bodies, and embark on a journey to reclaim themselves. The film also gives a rare window into the world of Pole artistry and expression.


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    I Am Human (2019)

    Consulting Producer: Michèle Ohayon

    What it means to be human will soon be drastically altered with advancements in neurotechnology, leading to an incomprehensible cohesion between man and machine. I AM HUMAN offers a glimpse of what this technical evolution entails, following three individuals with neurological disorders.


    A documentary featured co-directed and co-produced by Taryn Southern, Elena Gaby; edited by Cody Rogowski and Wyatt Rogowski. Consulting Producer: Michèle Ohayon.

    • Tribeca Film Festival 2019
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    The Mother of Beauty (2018)

    Co-produced by Michèle Ohayon

    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.

    • Aired on NPO2 Netherlands / MAX on January 16, 2019

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    CNN's Believer (2017)

    Supervising Producer: Michèle Ohayon

    CNN’s Believer is a 6-part spiritual adventure documentary series hosted by Reza Aslan. Executive Producers are Liz Bronstein and Andy Robertson. Aired March 2017 on CNN. Michele Ohayon was Supervising Producer on the Israel episode.

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    Cristina (2016)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    An intimate journey of a 37-year-old Cristina, as fate brings to her life both a new love and an unbeatable challenge. This is the story of a persistent love and a persistent disease that has taken yet another victim. Cristina provides deep insight into the life of an amazing woman, a symbol of love and the will to live-- a role model for all of us.

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    100 Years (2016)

    Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    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.


    A documentary feature directed by Melinda Janko, produced by Melinda Janko and Michèle Ohayon, edited by Edgar Burcksen, additional editing by Pat McMahon, and music by Nicholas Pike.

    • BIG SKY AWARD - Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2017

    • FINALIST, Silver Gavel Awards - American Bar Association

    • GOLD WINNER, The Telly Award - 2020

    • Aired on PBS America Reframed
    • Streamed on Netflix
    • LA Times Review

    • Film Journal Review

    • Spirituality and Practice Review

    • Indiewire Article

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    Co-directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    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.


    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.

    • American Renewable Energy Day’s Impact Film Festival
    • COP22 U.N. Climate Change Conference (Selected segments)
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    East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem (2015)

    Executive Produced by Michèle Ohayon

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


    A documentary feature directed by Henrique Cymerman and Erez Miller, produced by Gidi Avivi, executive produced by Michèle Ohayon, edited by Erez Miller.

    • Streaming on Netflix
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    Solar Roadways (2012)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    • Tribeca Film Festival
    • Shefield Film Festival
    • Big Eddy Film Festival
    • Madeira Film Festival
    • Warsaw Film Festival
    • Anchorage Film Festival
    • Participant in Google X talks
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    S.O.S. (2010)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    • 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 August-September 2011
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    Steal a Pencil For Me (2007)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    • 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
    • Streaming on Netflix
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    Cowboy del Amor (2005)​

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    • 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
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    Colors Straight Up (1997)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    • 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
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    It Was A Wonderful Life (1992)

    Directed and Produced by Michèle Ohayon

    • 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
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    Dial it Down Podcast (2020)

    Produced by David Lonner and Michéle Ohayon

  • Reach Out

    Michele Ohayon