Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
Ali Habashi is an award-winning filmmaker and educator with 23 years of professional experience in initiating and leading cross-disciplinary media projects anchored in pressing global issues. Having filmed stories in more than 50 countries, his various research and film projects have been supported by more than 3 Million Dollars in grant funds and featured in CBS4, NBC6, Miami Herald and USA Today and aired on international Cable and Public TV channels such as Discovery (US and India), Canal+(France), CZTV (Czech Republic), LAPTV (Latin America) and CNN Türk and have received major awards in numerous International Film Festivals. His globally produced educational media initiative titled Ocean Health Voyage is currently offered as an innovative course in the curriculum of 8 major universities in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Specific area of experience includes communicating complex global challenges on a range of topics such as marine conservation, access to clean drinking water and sanitation, racial/ethnic and gender based health care disparities among underserved communities, aging in 21st century, potential impacts of extending human life/health span on the healthcare system, population, resources and generational succession.
Ali is teaching various courses in intermediate and advanced narrative film production, cinematography as well as a cross-disciplinary class on “Global Issues and Film-making” at the School of Communication Department of Cinematic Arts.
With a core belief that providing fundamental education in climate change, marine conservation, sustainability, resilience and adaptation is a must-have experience for all students despite their disciplines, in 2018 he produced the Ocean Health Voyage , a groundbreaking online educational platform, produced and filmed professionally in ten international locations and taught by some of the most distinguished marine biologists around the world. This large-scale global production, above and under water, is designed to provide an immersive experience for students in Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States by taking them to a virtual journey to Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands, Hawaii and various other locations in the United States to learn about biodiversity, fisheries, clean waters, climate change and carbon storage, coastal protection, port economies, iconic species, natural products, ecotourism and experience the complexities of balancing resource consumption and conservation. In the summer of 2019, Ocean Health Voyage was featured by Virtually Inspired, a prestigious online platform powered by Drexel Online University that showcases innovation in online learning and subsequently featured in the I6th International Conference on Educational Innovation- CIIE (Monterrey, Mexico, 2019) as well as Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) “Emerging Frontiers of International Learning” (Washington DC, 2020). Since the Spring of 2020, this innovative media platform has been successfully incorporated into the curriculum of 8 universities in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States within the Hemispheric University Consortium, initiated by the University of Miami in 2018.
In October 2013, he premiered his global documentary film titled The Silver Mirror at the headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, and subsequently in Miami and New York. Narrated and hosted by two-time Emmy Award®-winning and Golden Globe®-nominated actress Blythe Danner, with an original film score performed by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, this feature-length global documentary film investigates the topic of aging in the 21st century. Shot over three years in 12 countries, The Silver Mirror is a search for a universal voice that fearlessly and intimately conveys humanity’s ancient, collective and fundamental struggle with the fragility of the human condition imposed by the inevitability of aging – while also pondering that for the first time in history, impending scientific surges in our health-span will drastically change how we live our lives.
His work as the Co-Director and Editor of One Water, a global documentary film about our changing relationship to potable water was premiered at the Miami International Film Festival to critical acclaim in 2008 and won numerous international awards including Best Environmental Feature Award at the Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Golder Associates Award for Best Film on Sustainable Development at Cineambiente in Turin, Italy as well as Best Documentary at the Foyle International Film Festival in Derry, Ireland. A TV version of this film, narrated by Martin Sheen with an original film score performed by the Russian National Orchestra had its TV premiere on the Discovery Network’s Planet Green in 2010 and found its way to international Cable and Public TV channels in France, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Poland and Turkey.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities, from 1998 to 2014, he served as the Director of the Edward H. Arnold Center for Confluent Media Studies at the University of Miami where he initiated and produced several international collaborative media initiatives.
Mr. Habashi has been invited as the guest speaker/presenter to numerous conferences and international events including the Association of International Education Administrators/AIEA (Washington DC, 2020), Inter-America Development Bank/IADB (Washington DC, 2020), 6th International Conference on Educational Innovation/CIIE (Monterrey, Mexico, 2019), 2nd Annual meeting of Hemispheric University Consortium/HUC (Kingston, Jamaica, 2019), 8th Global Forum Alliance of Civilizations (NYC, United Nations headquarters, 2018), International Day of Older Persons at the headquarters of World Health Organization (Geneva, 2013), United States of Aging Town Hall Meeting, streamed live by USAToday (Miami, 2012), Patagonia Agua (Viedma, 2011), Global Business Forum, “The Business of Health Care” (Miami, 2011), UNESCO Headquarters (Paris, 2009), World Bank Headquarters (Washington D.C., 2009), 5th World Water Forum (Istanbul, 2009), Baka Forum (Basel, 2009), Sea Secrets Lecture Series (Florida, 2008), TECDO (Santo Domingo, 2008), INFOBAE (Buenos Aires, 2008).