The Founders

Our team on the ground is constantly evolving. For each project, we work with a different set of professionals, depending on the matter at hand.


Itab Azzam


Itab is a London-based Syrian producer. Her extensive work for television includes the award winning BBC and PBS series Exodus: Our Journey to Europe (BAFTA, Broadcast, RTS and Liberty awards), the BBC's Syrian School, the series East West, and Bizarre Foods: Syria for the Travel Channel. She co-directed OAF's We Are Not Princesses, a film documenting the journey of four Syrian women rehearsing and performing Antigone in Beirut, Lebanon. She is the Director of Sabbara, a social enterprise empowering Syrian women through economic employment and psychological support. Her highly acclaimed cookery book Syria: Recipes from Home was released in the UK and US in 2017.


Hal Scardino

Co-founder & DIRECTOR

Hal began his career as a film actor in Los Angeles and New York in the 1990s. He settled in the UK in 2010 and began working as assistant producer at The Tricycle Theatre in London. Soon after leaving the Tricycle, Hal acted in and executive produced the film The Show. He co-produced the play Syria: Trojan Women (2013) in Jordan, and in 2014 he co-founded the Open Art Foundation and went on to produce the internationally-acclaimed theatre project in Beirut, Lebanon, Antigone of Syria. The film that was made during that time, We Are Not Princesses, premiered at DOC NYC in 2018 and is currently touring. He assistant directed All the President's Men? (2017) in the West End and on Broadway, and recently made his stage debut in Punctuate 4’s No Victor’s, No Vanquished (2019). He will return to the stage later this year in Salstonstall’s Trial. He currently lives in Boston.