Usama Alshaibi was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1969 and spent his formative years living between the United States and the Middle East. His work in film and video has been screened at numerous film festivals and venues across the globe. In early 2004 Usama and his wife returned to his birthplace in Iraq to shoot his first feature documentary titled Nice Bombs. The documentary had a theatrical release in 2007 and a broadcast premiere on the Sundance Channel in March 2008.
Usama has completed more than forty short films that are on various international DVD compilations and have played in musuems and multi-media exhibitions. He has also produced and directed music videos for a variety of musicians and record labels.
In addition to reaching an eclectic audience with his film work, Alshaibi's photography and art have been included in various gallery exhibitions and web publications. An interview with Usama appears in Studs Terkel's book Hope Dies Last and his films have been included in Jack Sargeant's book Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground. Feature articles have been written about his work in such places as the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, and Variety.
His films have received several film grants, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation award, an award from the Creative Capital Foundation for the Arts and a Playboy Foundation award. He is also the winner of the Creative Promise award at Tribeca All Access in New York City.
Currently Alshaibi has just completed his latest narrative feature titled Profane and working on a documentary on Arab-Americans under a diversity fellowship at Kartemquin Films. The fellowship was enacted with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.