Joshua van Praag is an award-winning writer, director and cinematographer working in both documentary and narrative formats to explore themes of social justice, interculturalism and exile.
With a background in feature films, van Praag trained in lighting and camera under a plethora of internationally acclaimed filmmakers, such as Martin Scorcese, Bernardo Bertolucci, Wong Kar Wai, and Woody Allen, before embarking on his own journey behind the camera.
As a director, van Praag's work has been exhibited in venues as diverse as New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Anthology Film Archives, and at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo. His first short film, 'The Dig' took both the jury prize and the award for best director at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival. As a member of the Media Working Group at Occupy Wall Street, van Praag helped found and create content for the movement’s first video production collective, Occupy TVNY, whose short films have reached an online audience of millions across the globe.
In early 2012, van Praag completed his debut feature-length film, 'The Lottery of Birth' - the first episode in the documentary series, 'Creating Freedom'. A wide ranging analysis of power and control in western democracies, the project is written and co-directed by painter Raoul Martinez. Cast includes Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Daniel Dennett, and Steven Pinker. The film premiered at London's Raindance Film Festival in September, 2012 where it was nominated for the Best Documentary award, and won the Spirit Award at the 2012 Artivist Film Festival.
He is now at work on a new documentary about the role of independent media in contemporary social movements. The film follows a handful of citizen journalists as they deploy an arsenal of new media tools to cover pro-democracy movements exploding onto the scene from Cairo to New York City.