Moroccan born Zahara Moufid inherited her love of story from her grandfather who was a writer. Her grandmother, a magical storyteller, preferred the oral tradition - telling stories rather than writing them. Her upper crust status within Arabic culture precluded any kind of work, writing included. This inequity has had a profound effect on Zahara.
Determined to make stories and cinema the centre of her own life, she refused to consider any work other than in film and against the wishes of her parents studied Arts & Drama and worked as an actress and part-time model in Casablanca. She did, however, compromise and following her parents' advice enrolled for a Master's Degree in Marketing at IFG Paris.
In 2000 Zahara moved to South Africa for a year before relocating to Ireland a year later. Fluent in Arabic and French, and anxious to perfect her English, she enrolled at Griffith College Dublin for a Master's Degree in Media Studies. She also enrolled at a Part-time Acting course at the Gaiety School of Acting Dublin.
Zahara joined an acting agency and was offered a variety of roles. In 2002 she received her Master's Degree and carried on with modelling and her acting career. That same year she was offered an assignment by the Irish Times to film in Libya which entailed an interview with the late Colonel Gaddafi.
In 2003 Zahara was commissioned by a charitable organisation to film and produce a documentary about the lives of Sri Lankan refugees living in India. This project took her to southern India with visits to refugees camps and orphanages in Kerala, Bangalore and a scatter of out-of-the-way villages.
On her return to Dublin she was commissioned by a charity to teach Drama and Filmmaking to underprivileged teenagers in Dublin. Following this, she undertook a new and interesting role as assistant to acclaimed Irish film-maker Jim Sheridan who was then working on the movie Get Rich or Die Tyrin' in Toronto. Rarely separated from her camera Zahara shot behind-the-scenes footage concerning the making of that film. This, to her surprise, was picked up by MTV and Paramount Studios. Having been broadcast by MTV producers, Paramount offered her a contract to direct a behind-the-scenes documentary about the movie and about Curtis James Jackson III, known professionally as 50 Cents. For a period of approximately two years, she followed 50 Cents between New York and Los Angeles, recording interviews with him, his family and friends.
This initial project with Oscar-nominated Sheridan led to a rich and ongoing collaboration and a contract with his production company Hell's Kitchen where she works as a film-maker, scriptwriter and co-producer.
In 2007 Zahara began another Master's Degree, this time in Film Production at University College Dublin.
In 2014, she founded and was the Director of the successful first Dublin Arabic Film Festival (DAFF) with Jim Sheridan as Festival President. The guest of honour was Omar Sharif, who travelled to Dublin to support this worthy project. This, sadly, was to be one of Sharif's last public appearances. Zahara subsequently produced and directed a short documentary about his visit which was screened at the second DAFF in 2015 in gratitude for his support, and as a tribute to his life's work.
In December of 2017 Zahara directed the documentary Inside Apollo House which told the story of how a group of activists, many from the entertainment world, occupied a vacant office building in central Dublin to create temporary accommodation for people sleeping rough in the cold of winter.
Zahara Moufid is a director, Producer, Actress and writer, known for Inside Apollo House (2017), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), 11th Hour (2017) and Get Rich or Die Tyrin' (2005). She is currently working on several new scripts still in development. She attributes her craft development to working with her mentor, Jim Sheridan, and working with him in the making of most his movies.
Pappy (Short) (post-production)
Wreckless Heart (Short)
Shelter me: Apollo House (Documentary)
The Making of 11th Hour (Short)
Inside Apollo House (TV Movie documentary)
The Making of the Secret Scripture (Documentary)
I Love Dublin (Documentary short)
Tribute (Documentary short) (as Zhara Moufid, Zahara)
A Portrait of an Artist: The Making of 'Get Rich or Die Tryin' (Video documentary short)