Associate Professor of Professional Practice
Ali Habashi is an award-winning filmmaker and educator at the University of Miami with 25 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. Specific area of experience includes communicating complex global challenges on a range of topics such as climate resilience, marine conservation, access to clean drinking water and sanitation, racial/ethnic and gender-based healthcare disparities among underserved communities, aging in 21st century, potential impacts of extending human life/health span on healthcare systems, populations, resources, and generational succession.
In 2023, he received the prestigious Provost’s Collaborative Teaching Award at the University of Miami for leading the development of the first innovative media platform for a problem-driven and discussion-based interdisciplinary and immersive course on Climate Resilience. As the co-chair of the education committee of University of Miami Climate Resilience Academy he collaborated with 13 distinguished researchers across the University of Miami to assume a global leadership position in the creation of pioneering courses that incorporate innovative pedagogical methodologies in order to equip students with adaptive cognitive tools to cope with uncertainty, while embracing the complexity of climate issues.
His globally produced educational media initiative titled Ocean Health Voyage has been offered as an innovative course in the curriculum of 8 major universities in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean and was recognized for its excellence in the field of education with the highly prestigious PIEoneer Awards 2021 in the category of Progressive Education Delivery, which celebrates innovation and achievement across the global education industry. This groundbreaking online educational platform was produced both above and under water in ten international locations including Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands, Hawaii as well as several locations across the United States. This immersive educational experience is led by some of the most distinguished marine biologists around the world who specialize in a wide range of topics including 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).
As a member of the faculty at the Department of Cinematic Arts within the School of Communication, Ali is helping shape the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers by teaching various courses in advanced narrative film production, cinematography, cinematic lighting as well as a cross-disciplinary documentary course on “Global Issues and Filmmaking” which incorporates the Harkness pedagogical methodology fostering interactive and collaborative discussions among students.
During the restrictions of Covid-19 quarantine in 2020, he led to the creation of the first COVID-19 Rapid Response Short Film Festival, featuring more than 50 student films made by mobile devices from China, France, Spain, and the United States offering poignant reflections on this global crisis. Furthermore, he capitalized on the exemplary practices of renowned international educational approaches like COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) and GNL (Globally networked learning), delving into inventive virtual mobility prospects. This enabled strategic remote collaborations with educational institutions in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, and China. Notably, a collaborative film project involving students from the University of Miami and Fudan University in Shanghai garnered worldwide recognition and secured a spot on the Sundance Film Festival. Bolstered by this achievement, he assumed the role of Executive Producer and Editor for a large-scale academic co-production between his students at the University of Miami and students in Fudan University titled Correspondence. This remarkable feature-length narrative film was produced in the United States and China amidst the pandemic.
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. Filmed over three years in 12 countries and 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.
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.
Mr. Habashi has been invited as the guest speaker/presenter to numerous conferences and international events including the “Innovations in Teaching” at CFGS (Conference of Florida Graduate Schools) (Miami, 2023), 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).