Yacein and Haroun Al-Shaater are an anglo-Egyptian writing and directing duo.
Having lived all over Europe, the brothers have been collaborating ever since the days of their epic Lego spacey-knight-pirate castles.
They spent their teens just outside Manchester. Aged 13, Haz started making skate videos on a borrowed DV cam, around the same time that Yaz set up his first theatre company, Three’s Company. Soon, though, Haz was making action-packed trailers for Yaz’s plays, and Yaz was turning Haz’s skate videos into elaborately staged micro-shorts. It was only a matter of time ‘til they realised their complementary skills meant they could keep playing together and call it a career. That childlike joy is still at the centre of everything they do.
Original screen projects include The Swing, a darkly comic road trip through the Peak District, An Admin Worker At The End Of The World, a short film about isolation and inaction, and Ruth, a silent one-take ghost story. Comedy shorts include None Of The Above, a car-based farce that escalates into a fantasy spoof, and Silent Night, a black-as-coal Christmas home-invasion thriller. Across their short films, they’ve had over 40 festival selections and 16 wins.
Yaz & Haz also co-created and directed web series Missing Something (Guardian Top 5 Female-Fronted web series; Raindance Top 5 web series).
Haz’s experience in directing commercial work (Telly awards winner, Drum Roses awards Gold winner) has brought him on to lead advertising shoots for brands such as Siemens, Nike and Facebook.
This year, he was selected for the Terre Di Cinema Cinecampus 23 to write and direct a short on 35mm film in Sicily.
Meanwhile, Yaz has directed theatre across the world. His projects range from Boris: World King, a comedy about the then-mayor-of-London (which transferred to Trafalgar Studios after two sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe); to ground-breaking all-female productions of Shakespeare’s Othello and Titus Andronicus with Smooth Faced Gentlemen. Recently he directed Monster and Fanboy with the acclaimed Worklight Theatre Company.
Yaz recently directed his first television on Hollyoaks for Lime Pictures/C4 and completed a Shadow Director Programme with Sky Studios on The Rising.
Together the brothers were shortlisted for the 2022 BAFTA-nominated 4Stories scheme, in the directors’ category, and this year will return to Hollyoaks to direct as a duo.
Yaz & Haz Al-Shaater is represented by Frances Arnold