Lila Yomtoob

Writer & Director

Lila Yomtoob is a New York based writer and director. Shortly after receiving her degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in film, she went on to direct the “perfectly honed” and “razor sharp” (Variety) feature film, High Life. Her current short, America 1979 has screened at more than twenty festivals and markets, is distributed by Gravitas Ventures, and is available on Amazon and select VOD platforms. She has directed several digital shorts including content for Nintendo.

Yomtoob’s films have been invited to Clermont Ferrand, Palm Springs International Film Festival, San Francisco Indiefest, Reykjavik International Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Hollyshorts, San Francisco International Asian Film Festival (CAAMfest), Pop Montreal, and The Global Peace Film Festival, amongst others. She has written several award winning grants and has been written up in Variety, The SFist, The Examiner, The Mash-Up Americans, The Jewish Journal, The Montreal Gazette, and more.

The television pilot based on “America 1979” is a selection of IFP Film Week, and a semifinalist at Cinequest, We Screenplay Diverse Voices and Stage 32 Television Writers.

Previously, Yomtoob worked in sound editorial and received an Emmy Award for HBO’s “Baghdad ER.” Along with post production, she has a background in producing and marketing.

“Movies are like dreams that I visit willingly. I sit in the dark, forget about the world around me, and go into a new world. Sometimes, I watch knowingly, other times characters feel close like friends or family. Sometimes I become them.

 

This is what I seek to achieve in my own filmmaking.”

Lila Yomtoob

Read the entire Director's Statement

“Movies are like dreams that I visit willingly. I sit in the dark, forget about the world around me, and go into a new world. Sometimes, I watch knowingly, other times characters feel close like friends or family. Sometimes I become them.

 

This is what I seek to achieve in my own filmmaking.”

Lila Yomtoob

Read the entire Director's Statement

Affiliations

Affiliations

“A solid fest item… a razor-sharp miniature, capturing the precise moment when prolonged adolescence surrenders to sober adulthood. Performances, language, and technical/design aspects are perfectly honed…certainly bodes well for the future of director Lila Yomtoob and her collaborators.”

Dennis Harvey

 

Variety

“One of the few explorations of Iranian-American experiences during the wave of anti-Iranian hysteria and violence that overtook the United States in the wake of the Hostage Crisis.”

Alex Shams

 

AjamMediaCollective.com

“The beauty of this $5,000 film – apart from the acting, edginess, great score, humour, pathos and bathroom bathos is the fact that it got made. To modify a Frank Zappa line that he had taken from Varese, the modern-day artist refuses to die; and Yomtoob never let little things like money or the film industry come between her and her vision.”

John Griffin

 

Montreal Gazette

“A deeply personal story that will resonate with the Iranian-American community at large.”

San Khanlari

 

Muftah.org

“Brooklyn director Lila Yomtoob’s day-in-the-life miniature about a blocked artist who finds himself under siege by his brother’s pot-smoking teenaged crew is a hidden gem of truly independent film. HIGH LIFE draws the viewer into its suspect premise with a wealth of detail, fine performances, and a nice slow burn of an emotional breakdown. It plays sort of like a Cassavetes inspired mini-DV remake of RULES OF THE GAME, taking place next door to a Larry Clark film.”

Pop Montreal

America 1979

Lila Yomtoob – Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
14 minutes | narrative | distributed by Gravitas Pictures | america1979.com

In November 1979, a group of young Iranian revolutionaries took 63 hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran. This event echoed daily on television sets across America for 15 months, and soon enough Iranians living in the States were singled out because of their nationality. The dream of the American melting pot was over.

America 1979 is a fourteen minute narrative film in which an Iranian American nine year old girl and her teenage brother are coming of age. The Iran Hostage Crisis is in full force and is influencing how they behave, how they are treated, and ultimately who they will grow up to be.

Watch now onAmazon

High Life

Lila Yomtoob – Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
72 minutes | narrative | distributed by IndiePix Films | highlifemovie.com

 

Half art film and half teen comedy, the feature film HIGH LIFE is a slice of life with a punk sensibility. An improvisational and character driven film developed during three months of rehearsal, HIGH LIFE takes place in real time, unfolding in front of 3 handheld cameras.

Sy, an artist in his late twenties, lives in a Brooklyn loft that doubles as his art studio. He is having trouble making new work, and has even more trouble with the idea of showing any of it. His ambitious girlfriend, Melissa, has gotten him into a group show at an exclusive gallery, hoping to help his career and, more importantly, make him into the man she wants him to be.

Sy is easily distracted by his 20 year old brother Satchel, who freely barges into the loft with his pack of rowdy friends to hang out. The tightly knit group has unwittingly begun questioning their relationships with each other, with sexuality, and with the world around them.

An ordinary day goes awry, and each character walks away with a different understanding of themselves and the people they care about.

High Life examines marginalized stories that are easily forgotten but crucial in the development of personal history, while capturing the emotional underbelly of coming of age, and the pains of accepting adult responsibility.

Watch now for free on highlifemovie.com

In Development

America 1979 - The Series

Television series | Narrative

24 Before

Television Series | Documentary

Ann and Dan

Television series | Comedy

The Name Whisperer

Feature | Mockumentary

My Name is Bubbles Smitty

Feature | Road trip musical comedy

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