Hala is an Iraqi-Canadian multidisciplinary artist with a strong background in journalism and documentary filmmaking. After 10 years of covering bad news across the Middle East, she pivoted towards fiction and visual art with a practice grounded in questioning gender relations, political power and history-making. In 2022, she was awarded Canada's highest scholarship (SSHERC) to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts at OCAD University in Toronto. Her thesis proposes dreaming as an archeological methodology for excavating the future of Iraq through cinema and ceramics.

Hala wrote and directed the short film "Bêtes Humaines", which was funded by TV5 Quebec in 2011 and officially selected for screening at the Newport Beach International Film Festival and Montreal's Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québecois. In 2017,  she co-wrote and co-produced the Iraqi feature film "Haifa Street" with Baghdad-based director Mohanad Hayal, which won awards at the Doha Film Institute, Cairo Film Festival, Busan Film Festival and Carthage Film Festival among others.

Hala acknowledges the privilege of growing up on Turtle Island, whose indigenous people have suffered from the same colonial powers that occupied and still interfere with her own motherland.




2024 OCAD University MFA Interdisciplinary Arts, Media and Design

2020 Yale Certificate via Coursera,  Introduction to Psychology

2002 Concordia University BA Communication Studies, Minor in Political Science


2024 The Rod and The Ring, OCAD University, Toronto, ON, CA

2022 Haifa Street, Babylon International Festival, Babylon, IQ

2020 Haifa Street, Cairo International Film Festival, Cairo, EG

2020 Haifa Street, Busan International Film Festival, Busan, KR

2012 Bêtes Humaines, Newport Beach International Film Festival, CA, US

2012 Bêtes Humaines, Rendez-Vous du Cinema Québecois, Montreal, QC, CA 

2010 PHATWA, Off The Hook Boutique, Montreal, QC, CA


2023 The Aliens Aren't Coming, OCAD University (Toronto)

2023 Too Big To Fail, OCAD University (Toronto)

2022 The Incomplete, OCAD University (Toronto) 

2004 Iraq War Exhibit, Fivegreen Boutique (Dubai)


2018 Venice Biennial - Venice Production Bridge

2017 Carthage Film Festival - Producers Network

2017 Tribeca Film Festival - TFI Network

2016 Doha Film Institute - Qumra


2024 OCAD U Travel Grant for "The Rod and The Ring"

2023 OCAD U Grad Studies First Year Award

2022 CGS-M Award, SSHERC 

2018 Doha Film Institute, Post Production Fund for "Haifa Street"

2010 Le Fonds TV5 for "Bêtes Humaines"

2009 Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for "PHATWA"


Featured in: Carnation Zine Vol 3, Summer 2024 (upcoming)

Interview: This Art Show is Too Big To Fail by Chris Dart, CBC Arts, April 2023

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