Israeli Screenwriter and Director; "Homeland" and "Prisoners of War"
Gideon Raff is an Israeli film and television director, screenwriter and writer. He is best known for the award-winning 2010 Israeli television drama series “Prisoners of War” (which he created, wrote and directed) and its acclaimed US adaptation, “Homeland” (for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards in 2012). After serving three years as a…
Gideon Raff is an Israeli film and television director, screenwriter and writer. He is best known for the award-winning 2010 Israeli television drama series “Prisoners of War” (which he created, wrote and directed) and its acclaimed US adaptation, “Homeland” (for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards in 2012).
After serving three years as a paratrooper in the Israeli army, he completed a degree in Film at Tel Aviv University. For a year or so, during the dot-com bubble, he was responsible for content at a start-up, and wrote a weekly column in Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv about his experiences. The columns were collected into a book, “Diary of a Start-Upper On The Way To Mecca.”
Having moved to Los Angeles in 2003, Raff completed a graduate degree in directing at the American Film Institute. His graduation short film “The Babysitter” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. On the strength of this, director Doug Liman hired him as director’s assistant on the 2005 film “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” which starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Raff made his feature-length directorial debut in 2007 with “The Killing Floor,” a psychological thriller (which he also co-wrote and co-produced). His second feature was the horror film “Train,” starring Thora Birch, in 2008. Raff returned home to Israel for the production of “Prisoners of War,” a television drama series which he created, wrote and directed. The series became Israel’s highest-rated drama of all time and went on to win several Israeli television awards.
Even before filming of “Prisoners of War” began, the rights to develop an American version of the series had been sold to 20th Century Fox Television based on the strength of the script alone. This resulted in the acclaimed series “Homeland,” developed by former 24 producers and writers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa in cooperation with Raff, and broadcast on cable channel Showtime in the autumn of 2011. In addition to translating the original scripts from Hebrew into English, Raff acted as an executive producer on the US show and co-wrote the pilot episode.
Raff returned to Israel in 2011 for production of the second season of “Prisoners of War” (which he again wrote and directed). The new season did not begin airing in Israel until October 2012 – just two weeks after the second season of “Homeland” started airing in the US.
In December 2012 it was reported that Raff had sold the pilot for a new TV drama series, “Tyrant,” to cable TV channel FX. The drama revolves around an unassuming American family caught up in the turbulence of the Middle East. Raff created the concept and wrote the pilot script. In November 2013 Raff and “Heroes” creator Tim Kring finalized a six-episode deal with USA Network for “Dig,” an archaeological thriller about an American FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem. The TV series is due to premiere in late 2014.
Raff is an animal rights activist. Having previously been vegetarian, in 2007 he turned vegan. In 2012, as part of a PETA campaign, Raff wrote to both the United States Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, to protest against use of live animals to train army doctors in battlefield surgery.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
A Conversation With Gideon Raf
Keynote: Bert Salke, Fox 21 & Gideon Raff,
1 HOUR OR LESS