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Shira Geffen

Writer/ Director/ Actress


Shira Geffen was born in Tel Aviv in 1971. A playwright, director, children`s book author and actress, she studied at the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio and has performed at the Habimah National Theater as well as at the Cameri Theater of Tel-Aviv and the Jerusalem Khan Theater. In 2005 she founded “Knafyim” (Wings) a theater group for actors with down syndrome. Geffen has published eight books for children. She was awarded First Prize at the Haifa International Children`s Theater Festival in 1998 and the Hadassah Prize for children’s book writing in 2003.  In 2007 Geffen had written and co-directed with Etgar Keret her first feature film Jellyfish (“Meduzot”) that won three prizes at the Cannes film festival, including the prestigious Camera d’Or. Further on, in 2014 she wrote and directed the feature film Self-Made (“Boreg”) which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week, won the New Auteurs Critic’s Award at the AFI Fest, and additionally was awarded the Best Editing and Best Screenplay at the Jerusalem Film Festival. The Middleman, a French speaking mini-series, starring Mathieu Amalric and co-written and co-directed with Etgar Keret had aired in ARTE in May 2020. It received rave reviews in the French press and had won the best screenplay award at the La Rochelle fiction TV festival in France. Geffen’s recent book, “Waiting for Nissim”, co-written with Keret, was published in March 2020.


“Dripping with black humor but never riding the mise-en-scene overwhelm its (female) characters’ humanity, Self Made uses the story of two women – one Jewish, the other an Arab – swapping lives to present what is at once an enjoyable comedy and a contemplative exercise looking at the construction of sexual identities.”

“With a witty screenplay which never passes on the opportunity to play with language – from Michal repeating to a range of people how she’s “missing a screw”, and the soldier describing her army’s bullets as “Israeli patent” because “it hurts but it doesn’t kill” – Self Made provides an entertaining and pensive thought about the straitjackets imposed on women or maybe just about everyone else too.”

Clarence Tsui, April 2014, The Hollywood Reporter

  • Self Made set
  • Self Made
  • Self Made
  • Jellyfish, Cannes, Camera d'Or
  • Self Made set
  • Self Made set

Representation in collaboration with Kneller Artists Agency

  • photo: Eyal Nevo
  • photo: Eyal Nevo

“It would be a misrepresentation to say that Michal and Nadine “switch lives.” This is not Freaky Friday on the West Bank. Once you eventually accept that this is more a film about harmony than melody, the signifiers and the mood eventually build-up to a chorus of feeling. In fact, our lead characters are just as confused as we are. (Everyone else is frustratingly unfazed, either because there truly is a grand conspiracy, or no one wants to take the effort to look around.) One can point to Polanski’s The Tenant or even Upstream Color for similarities in tone, but by the time we get to the third act Geffen has built herself something that’s entirely her own”

Jordan Hoffman, May 2014, Vanity Fair

  • The Heart Shaped Leaf
  • Waiting for Nissim Hebrew
  • Baloona Hebrew
  • Buena noches monstruo
  • Good night monster Hebrew