Maythem spent his formative years in Iraq before fleeing with his family into exile. He has over 25 years experience creating award-winning film and photography projects. As writer and director his films have been selected for major international film festivals, broadcasted, distributed in cinemas and won many accolades and prizes.
With specialist knowledge of working in the Middle East and Europe, Maythem began directing with MBC in 1994 and then went on as Senior Director and Producer to launch a platform of 10 satellite channels for Showtime Arabia (now OSN). He also made films in English and Arabic for BBC World Service and for ART Europe.
Maythem wrote IRAQI TALES, a body of stories for film, at the University of Oxford and then at the National Film & Television School (UK). From this DRIFTING ON THE WIND (ArRuh Ala ArRih), a film about childhood, was chosen by over 20 international film festivals, winning the Director’s Award at Hearts & Minds. Following on from this AL-BAGHDADI, a film about a young Iraqi boy migrating to the UK, won the Gold Prize for Best Foreign Language Film at the International Filmmaker Festival. ALI AND HIS MIRACLE SHEEP, his latest instalment from IRAQI TALES, had its world premier and won the prestigious Best Film Award at Sheffield Doc Fest UK Competition 2021. It has since been selected by over 40 major international festivals winning over 25 awards and distinctions.
Maythem’s photographic work has been published and exhibited in several one-man shows and joint exhibitions of award-winning projects such as AL-INTITHAR, INTERFACE and the more recent MY CAMERA IN EXILE collections. Winner of Al Hambra Award for Excellence in the Arts, Maythem works with a diverse range of international projects as well as leading courses, workshops and masterclasses in filmmaking and photography at film schools, universities and film festivals.
After the Iraqi Cultural Centre (UK) held a retrospective exhibition of his work in London, Maythem began the development of his successfully published photo book, BEYOND MOMENTS: MOROCCO. Maythem is currently Artistic Director of the BIFA qualifying London Breeze Film Festival (Formerly Barnes Film Festival). He is also working on several new film and photography projects including 40 YEARS OF SILENCE, AMANA - LAST GENERATION and TEAR MAKER which is set against the backdrop of the Iraqi desert.