Samuel Ali Tabatabai

Samuel Ali Tabatabai was born in San Antonio, TX. He began absorbing film while working at Hollywood Video when he was 16 years old. While in high school he created two comedic music videos and produced a documentary of a road trip to Montreal, Canada.

He began his higher education at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI where he filmed and photographed the Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization and wrote for the newspaper, the Archway. The death of his mother caused him to transfer closer to home to Loyola University New Orleans, but he was displaced and relocated to Los Angeles, CA due to Hurricane Katrina. While attending Loyola Marymount University Samuel interned in the office for Capitol Films and Unity Film Productions, and interned for the Mayor of Los Angeles as a camera operator while earning his Bachelors Degree in Finance.

Samuel left school and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii to work in event production and pursue his dream of producing his own films. This is where he discovered the underground short film contest Showdown in Chinatown and the 48 hour film project, where he soon began producing his own shorts, commercials, and music videos.

Since returning to Texas in 2015 from Hawaii, Samuel Ali founded Texas Made Films Youth Program, teaching all aspects of video production to the next generation of filmmakers as his philanthropy. He continues to create short films for festivals with the Children.

In 2018 Samuel Ali self produced and directed his first feature film, ... view more »

Artist Statement of Work

Tell us about your work (style, approach, philosophy, subject and/or theme):

I've been producing my own content for over 17 years.

Our philosophy is based in Hawaiian Business principals. Where our team is an Ohana and the competition is our friend.

We always offer positions to our people first.  Many of our crew have aspirations to be actors too. Therefore, many of the crew is also our cast.  Loyalty is highly regarded and rewarded.

We may not be union, but we run our sets based on Union Standards.  I have IATSE steward training, and I took film law and film business as my Finance electives while getting my bachelor's in business at Loyola Marymount University.  Once we receive proper funding we will already be running the set properly, safely and above the standard, therefore, we won't have to hire outsiders or relearn the wheel to continue to create.

Over the years, I have tried to teach my friends and peers the knowledge that I've gained from my experiences.  However, most adults are hesitant to learn.  Therefore, I created a non-profit that teaches children the crafts of filmmaking so we can fill the jobs of tomorrow that we created by extending the film incentives. One of my early mentors, Torry Toagafu: the creator of Showdown in Chinatown Short Film Festival in Honolulu,  taught me that I needed to do free work forever, to give back to the community, to stay connected to the youth, new technology, and new trends. So we won't become stagnant and can continue to grow forever.

I always offer to team up with other filmmakers to help them.


  • FEATURE - Spring Breakdown - made in Blanco, Texas

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