Shemi Zarhin was born in Tiberias and graduated with a degree in Film and TV Studies from Tel Aviv University. Zarhin has directed a number of feature films and written many screenplays for both film and TV. He also teaches at the Sam Spiegel Film Academy in Jerusalem.
His first film, Passover Fever (1995) won the Best Script award at the Montreal Film Festival, and also received the Ministry of Education film award (1996). Dangerous Acts (1998) won Israel Film Academy awards in seven categories, including Best Director. Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi (2003) was awarded 21 international prizes and honorable mentions (including in the U.S., Russia, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Sweden) and was on general release in a number of countries. Aviva My Love (2006) won the Best Script award at the Chicago and Shanghai Film Festivals, the Public’s Favorite award at the Israeli Film Festival in the U.S. (2007), the Volgin Prize for Best Screenplay (Israel, 2006), the Israel Film Academy awards in six categories, and was the most successful film in Israel in 2006. Zarhin also received the Landau Prize for film directing in 2008. For his novel, Some Day, he received the Publishers Association’s Gold and Platinum Prizes (2011; 2012), the Steimatzky Prize for best-selling book of the year (2012) and the Kugel Prize (2013).