I have spent the last decade directing and shooting fiction films, music videos, television series, and feature-length documentaries all over the world: from Nunavut, Haiti, and South Africa, to New York and Montreal (where I split my time). Past collaborations include projects with Arcade Fire, The Barr Brothers, Kahlil Joseph, Leif Vollebekk, Clara Furey, Half Moon Run, and Socalled.
With my Juno award-winning band, Bell Orchestre, I have released two records, toured everywhere from the Baltics to the Yukon, and collaborated with the likes of LaLaLa Human Steps and the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. Our most recent album, House Music, is released on Erased Tapes. I also make music for film, dance, various ensembles, orchestra, and theatre with the immensely talented friends I’m lucky enough to have.
I am committed to exchanges with aspiring filmmakers in communities with limited infrastructure. I taught filmmaking at the Cine Institute in Haiti, where I continue to work and develop projects with Haitian filmmakers and writers, as well as in the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi.
I aspire to make films that have the immediacy of music, and to make music that has the evocative energy of film.
I am an IFP Narrative Lab Fellow and an alumnus of TIFF Writers’ Studio, Berlinale Talent Campus, TIFF Talent Lab, and TIFF Pitch This.
With spare, powerful images and an assured structure, Vapor tells its story like a dance piece. No image is wasted, no moment overplayed. Vapor stays with you long after you’ve left the theatre.
– Sudz Sutherland (Filmmaker/TIFF juror)
Pour la richesse et l’humanité complexe de chacun des personnages, pour la grande honnêteté de la proposition artistique et pour le regard posé avec soin sur un sujet universel.
– FNC Jury, in awarding the Prix de la Diffusion to Sin La Habana
As Seen Through Windows is an . . . almost architecturally structured affair; its dynamic shifts smoothly achieved, its sonics buffed and squeezed into a panorama of vivid colours.
This is a powerful piece of filmmaking, an excellent example of the medium’s capacity to aspire to, and achieve, art. Based on a true story, it’s a portrait of a man accepting his identity. With minimal dialogue, Kaveh Nabatian’s film is delicate in places, affecting, but always visually striking. [Vapor]
-Eye For Film
★★★★ Dérouté, ravi, ému…un exploit . C’est tour à tour émouvant, mystérieux, déroutant, hallucinant. [The Seven Last Words]
-Le Devoir, François Lévesque
Writer/director, Kaveh Nabatian, is an excellent storyteller. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the beautiful musical world of dance, love, and heartache that is Sin La Habana. It’s a world definitely worth exploring.
AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS
- Canada’s Top Ten Films (TIFF) (Vapor)
- Prix de la Diffusion (Festival du Nouveau Cinéma) (Sin La Habana)
- Genie Nomination, Best Short Fiction Film (Vapor)
- Jutra Nomination, Best Short Fiction Film (Vapor)
- Gerald Hirschfeld Award for Best Cinematography, Ashland IFF (Sin La Habana)
- Best First Feature (MISAFF) (Sin La Habana)
- Best Cinematography (MISAFF) (Sin La Habana)
- Best Sound Design (MISAFF) (Sin La Habana)
- Best Production Design (MISAFF) (Sin La Habana)
- Best Screenplay (MISAFF) (Sin La Habana)
- Prix d’Interprétation Masculine, Paris Courts Devant (Dive)
- Most Original Short Film, Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Nan Lakou Kanaval)
- Meilleur réalisation québécoise, Regard sur le court-métrage (Nan Lakou Kanaval)
- Best New Filmmaker, Toronto Reelworld Festival (Malek’s Poster)
- Special Jury Prize for Experimental Film, SXSW (Austin, TX) (Upwards March)
- Juno Award, Best Instrumental Album (with Bell Orchestre)
- Best Short Film, Directors’ Guild of Canada (Taxi Libre)
- Special Mention, International Competition, Shortshorts (Mexico City) (Vapor)
- Silver Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival (Vapor)
- Prix du Public, Image+Nation (Montreal) (Vapor)
- Chris Award for Best Narrative, Columbus Film and Video Festival (Vapor)
- Gémeaux Nomination, Best Director of a Children’s Documentary (Je vis ta vie)
- Gémeaux Nomination, Best Documentary Series (Facteur humain)
- Winner of Award of Excellence at Alliance for Children and Television (Je vis ta vie)
- Best Cinematography, Prix Prends ça court! (Montreal) (Vapor)
- Best Sound Design, Prix Prends ça court! (Montreal) (Vapor)
- Special Jury Mention, Prix Prends ça court! (Montreal) (Holika)
- Senior Award, Amsterdam Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Vapor)
- Honorable Mention, Los Angeles Movie Awards (Taxi Libre)
- 1st Place, Iron Mule Comedy Festival (NYC) (Love)
- Finalist TIFF Emerging Filmmaker Competition (Love)
- 2nd Place, Fantastic Shorts, Fantastic Film Fest (Austin, TX) (Love)
- Best PSA, Couch Film Festival (Reykjavik) (Love)
- Winner of Reel Diversity Competition, National Film Board of Canada
- Top Ten Audience Choice, CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival (Taxi Libre)
- Award of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival (Sausages)
- Pitch This! Finalist (Rumba, Mohammed VI), TIFF/Telefilm Canada
- Best Experimental Album, Gala de Musique Indépendent du Québec (with Bell Orchestre)
- Screenwriting Grants, SODEC
- Film Production Grants, SODEC
- Research and Creation Grants, Quebec Council of Arts and Letters (CALQ)
- Film Production Grants, Canada Arts Council
- Banff Centre for the Arts Music Residency
- Mexico City Screenwriting Residency (FONCA/CALQ)
- Centro de Artes de San Agustin Oaxaca Residency (FONCA)