Ilan Ziv was born in Israel in 1950 and came to the United States after fighting in the Yom Kippur (The October) War in 1973. Ilan Ziv is a graduate of New York University film school, and in 1978 he co-produced New York's first Middle East Film Festival. That same year he founded Icarus Films, a documentary film distribution company, which he left in 1980 in order to devote himself to making documentary films, and since then he has directed dozens of documentaries dealing broadly with issues of human rights and investigations of contemporary history.
His most recent film, a six-part series on Capitalism, broadcast on ARTE October 2014 and received rave reviews. The series is now being distributed internationally.
"With this series," wrote Le Monde in a full page review, "Ilan Ziv authored a capitvating epic that helps us understand today’s crisis of inequality... the series will undoubtedly remain a major contribution to social and economic thought."
Exile A Myth Unearthed, an investigation into the political ramifications of the myth of the Exile of the Jews, has been recently shown on the BBC, as well as a dozen or so television networks world wide. The Sunday Times Critics' Choice wrote: "Ilan Ziv's documentary is a brilliant historical investigation." "[It] has ramifications for relations in the region," wrote The Radio Times.
His film Jesus Politics: The Bible and the Ballot, a personal examination of the role of religion in American politics, premiered before the 2008 US elections in France, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, Austria and Denmark, and PBS in the United States. It was hailed by the Toronto Globe & Mail as a "fascinating documentary... admirably balanced." The Times of London called it "an eye-opening film." La Vie in France described it as "gripping"; "highly original...point of view...powerful imagery and spectacular editing," wrote Israel Today.