Reem Kadem

Photo by: Samrod Shenassa

Reem Kadem is the Four-Time International Winner of Best Lead Actress in the true story inspired feature film, Nawal the Jewel. She is a first-generation Iraqi American, with a fluency in Arabic. Her tour de force starring role gained her accolades at The Amsterdam International Filmmaker Festival, The Milan International Film Festival of World Cinema, The Multicultural Film Festival in California and Boston International Film Festival.

She was twice nominated for this role in England as Best Lead Actress, at both The London International Film Festival and The North Europe International Film Festival, and nominated at The South Europe International Film Festival in Valencia, Spain.

The film went on to gain numerous nominations and award wins including multiple for Best Picture. The film won at respected festivals like London and Boston International Film Festival, beating out films with actors like Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber), Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver) and Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap).

Reem marked her debut in Indian cinema, portraying this lead role of Nawal – inspired by the true story of Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was covered all across international news, from BBC, to America, to the Middle East. Reyhaneh defended her life against an officer who tried to rape her, and was sentenced to death in
Iran. Amnesty International, The UN and others tried to save her life, with thousands of signatures, but sadly, were unable to succeed.

Reem shot the film bilingually in both Malayalam (the language of Kerala, India) and English versions, working opposite acclaimed Indian actors such as Adil Hussain (Life of Pi, Star Trek), Shweta Menon (Salt n’ Pepper) and Anjali Upasana (Ben). Nawal was the first synced sound film in cinema history, to be
simultaneously shot in two languages. She learned Malayalam for the role, spending several months of preparation on the script before her arrival to India.

Following the release of the film, she was on the cover of every major paper and on billboards in India – and it was the beginning of a new chapter in her career. The film’s team is in talks for its future release. She is also one of the main stars of the feature film, Revenge Ride, which won Best Ohio Feature Film.

She was handpicked by director, Melanie Atikenhead (Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?) and Actor/Producer James Franco (Spider-Man) to portray Nona, one of the lead motorcycle gang members, in the gritty, terrorizing story of a female gang, and their revenge against the men that did them wrong.

Reem began her training ground in theater at the age of 14, and has studied with greats like: BAFTA & Emmy Nominated Actor, Alfred Molina (Chocolat, Raiders of The Lost Ark), Julliard Alumnus & SAG Nominated Actor, Jack Stehlin (Weeds, General Hospital), Oscar Winner Bobby Moresco, (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), and long-time method acting teacher/successor to Stella Adler, Carey Scott (God’s Not Dead 2, Big Love), a former classmate to actors like Sean Penn, Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo and Salma Hayek.

As a screenwriter, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Screenwriting as a graduate of Cal State University Northridge.

She has been endorsed as a screenwriter/script doctor by talents such as Two Time Oscar Winning Filmmaker, Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) Oscar & Emmy Nominee, Mel Damski (American Dream), Oscar Winner, Fred Roos (Godfather II), Head Of Production at Storyboard Media, Patrick Hibler (The Comeback Trail), Executive Producer to Howard Gordon, Hugh Fitzpatrick (Tyrant), Best-Selling Author of The Story Solution, Eric Edson, Founder of The Script Lab, Derek Ruth, and many others.

She has a myriad of projects in motion at various stages, with acclaimed stars and major producers/filmmakers on board. One of her latest true story projects gained the interest of an Oscar Winner to direct the picture, a groundbreaker of a film to say the least, filled with testosterone driven characters and the
essence of Americana – that defies the pre-conceived notion of pigeonholing a screenwriter, and a certainly a female screenwriter of ethnic background.

Along with her eclectic list of projects in development with Hollywood industry, she is being featured in Creative Screenwriting Magazine with writer, Mark Protosevich, who penned films like I Am Legend and Thor, among other esteemed filmmakers.

She is also being featured in a spotlight for Nostos Screenwriting Retreat alongside Oscar Nominated Screenwriter of Sleepless in Seattle, Jeff Arch.

On the TV front, she is producing a reality series in development with a top veteran reality EP, and is also producing a documentary with a producer of an Emmy Nominated Docuseries.

In addition to her completed projects and works in development, she has provided a multitude of writing services for many projects throughout her career, one to note, includes her work on a feature film adaptation of a play by the legendary, Pulitzer Prize and Oscar Winning Writer, William Inge (Picnic, Splendor In The Grass).

She has worked as a coverage analyst of scripts in virtually every genre, for Academy Award and Golden Globe Winning Offices such as FR Productions (Fred Roos – Godfather II), Atlas Entertainment (Charles Roven – American Hustle), Mosaic (Jimmy Miller – Bad Teacher), and Colleen Camp Productions (First Lady Of Paramount – Above Suspicion).

She has gained accolades in screenplay competitions for her work as a writer. She’s also received attention in Variety, for directing and producing a documentary entitled Self Serve. The project was done in an effort to help waiters preserve their tips, so that restaurant owners and managers would not have the freedom to pocket those tips for themselves.

The film features Oscar Nominated Actress, Sally Kirkland (Anna), Star of Straight Outta Compton, Neil Brown Jr., Creator of Final Destination, Jeffrey Reddick, and many other esteemed talents. She serves as one of the founding members of an organization called Women Creating Change, alongside Head Founder and Executive Producer to numerous feature films, Lee Broda (Tesla). They work together among a community of female artists bridging cultural and religious barriers by championing creative, inclusive collaborations through filmmaking, while providing a voice in Hollywood for women of the Middle Eastern and MENA regions.