Yonatan Nir is an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker, responsible for a few of the most complex and successful Israeli productions in the last decade.
Nir grew up on a kibbutz in northern Israel, where he developed his passion for nature and adventure. After his service in an elite IDF commando unit, he embarked on a seven-year journey around the world, during which he began to write and photograph for leading national and international newspapers and magazines. In 2009, Nir received the prestigious "Asian Geographic Best of the Decade Award" for his work in photojournalism.
Following an injury he suffered in the Second Lebanon War during his reserve duty, Nir's professional career took an unexpected turn and he began making documentaries about posttraumatic growth and empowerment.
His films Dolphin Boy, Cutting the Pain, The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel and Picture of His Life were broadcast on the world's leading TV channels, viewed by millions of people in over 60 countries, and won several awards in prestigious international film festivals.
In addition to his work as a director and producer, Nir has built his reputation as an experienced and sought-after speaker, and until today has given over 1,300 lectures in front of diverse audiences in Israel and around the world. Over the years, he has spoken in front of over 130,000 high school and university students, at conferences in front of judges, physicians, psychologists and social workers, at large organizations, high-tech companies and special events around the world, among them at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, the Holocaust Museum in Montreal, and the UN Headquarters in Vienna.
Whether it’s a workshop, a big conference, an inspiring talk for employees or executives, or even a small community event – if the topic is coping with uncertainty and stress, growth out of pain and hardship, or making dreams come true – Nir's proven ability to tell a meaningful story guarantees a fascinating event that will expand the viewers' mind and heart.
Honorary Mention - Jerusalem Film Festival | 2011
Final Nominee - Israeli Academy Awards | 2011
Best Film Award - Underwater Photography Mondial | 2011
Special Mention Award - Woodstock International Film Festival | 2011
Final Nominee - International Green Oscars | 2012
Silver Medal - Mind Media Awards | 2012
Best Documentary Film Award - Santa Barbara International Film Festival | 2017
Audience Choice Award - Santa Barbara International Film Festival | 2017
Best International Director Award - Doc Edge International Film Festival | 2017