Zoom In Focus

Egyptian-born filmmaker and actor Sayed Badreya realized a childhood dream by winning roles in major Hollywood films such as Iron Man, The Insider, Three Kings, and Independence Day.

Growing up in poverty in Port Said, Sayed Badreya's dreams of movie stardom looked as bleak as the prospect of peace in the Middle East. From the Six Day War in '67 through the Yom Kippur War in '73, his only escape from the world he knew was the movie theater, where films transported him to a magical land. But it was here that he determined he was destined to be a part of that magic.

His mission - to make movies that told the Arabic- American story, since it had yet to be told - led to the creation of his own production company, Zoom In Focus. Under this banner, he directed and produced the documentary, Saving Egyptian Film Classics as well as The Interrogation, which won Best Creative Short Film at New York International Film Festival. He also produced and starred in Hesham Issawi's short, T for Terrorist, which was awarded Best Short Film at the Boston International Film Festival and the San Francisco World Film Festival. In 2007, he played his first leading role in the English language motion picture American East, a film that he also co-wrote.


A new film about human trafficking from filmmaker Sayed Badreya, "What About Her" exposes Beverly Hills and Bel Air's dirty little secret: covered young maids secretly enslaved by rich and powerful Arabs and diplomats in LA's wealthiest neighborhoods.


1. Egyptian Abroad (2019) AK Al-Masry Life

11 min | Short, Drama

An Egyptian citizen left Egypt 40 years ago. Still, he is attached with all of his countries news. As if he still lives there within its walls, he smiles for the good news and feels sorrow for the bad ones.


2. Saving Egyptian Film Classics (2002)

52 min | Documentary

"Saving Egyptian Film Classics" deals with the harsh consequences of neglecting films in the storage rooms without preservation. Egypt produces the most popular cinema in the Middle East ... See full summary »

Director: Sayed Badreya | Stars: Zahi Hawass, Arthur Hiller, Roger Mayer, Martin Scorsese

3. The Interrogation (I) (2002)

17 min | Drama, Short

In the tradition of old Fifties/Forties Noir films, this story is being told. The story takes place in a Military Camp in unknown country. The story can happen in a Latin America, Middle ... See full summary »

Director: Hesham Issawi | Stars: Nasser Faris, Christopher Vance Lee, Miles M. Badreya, Zoi Kottas

4. T for Terrorist (2003)

28 min | Short

T for Terrorist, a new and timely short film that explores one possible - and darkly comedic - ramification of typecasting Arab actors in Hollywood. The story begins with meek character ... See full summary »

Director: Hesham Issawi | Stars: Sayed Badreya, Tony Shalhoub, Teigen D'Eston, Ivan Allen

5. Mush (2005)

15 min | Short

Stars: Winter Jones, Shazia, Sayed Badreya, Saleem Beysley

6. It's Not Just You, Tommy Chu! (2006)

11 min | Short, Comedy

An Asian guy receives an unexpected response from his black friend when he relates the hilarious hijinks that come with dating in a white world.

Director: Jon Maxwell | Stars: Theresa Barbosa-Adams, Nina Fehren, M.J. George,Chris Turner

7. Chicago Mirage (2011)

35 min | Short, Action, Crime

A tale of injustice and lost innocence.

Director: Sayed Badreya | Stars: Jay Abedelal, Sayed Badreya, Holanda Demeloitz,Tony Elayyan

8. Window Lies (2012)


Directors: Lyonna Floyd, Christopher Galzin, Charisse Hagerman | Stars: Miles M. Badreya, Sayed Badreya, Gus Fakhouri, JoAnn Fakhouri

9. The Mercury Dancer (2013)

5 min | Short