Director Biography – Noam Argov (NEIGHBORS)

Noam Argov is an Israeli-American filmmaker, National Geographic Explorer and MFA Directing Student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Growing up between the Jordan River Valley and Orlando, Florida, Noam spent much of her childhood walking around barefoot and dreaming up strange stories. More recently, Noam spent the last four years directing and producing documentaries, and is now adventuring into narrative writing, directing and shooting at Tisch.

Noam’s doc short “Running Across California” premiered with Outside Online and was featured on National Geographic through the “Women of Impact” campaign. Her doc short “My Dear Kyrgyzstan” premiered in competition at the Oscar-qualifying 2019 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and was acquired by MailChimp’s new streaming platform MailChimp Presents. In screenwriting, Noam’s screenplay “Me and Uterus” was a finalist in the 2019 Hollyshorts Screenwriting Competition and her screenplay “Hair Days” won Top 5 in the 2020 Shore Scripts Screenwriting Competition and was a semi-finalist at the 2020 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.

Overall, Noam’s films center on quirky heroes who defy the stereotypes of their reality, leaving on tough conversations about attitudes, identity and our relationship with the world. No matter the project, Noam is driven by unassuming people doing the unique and incredible, whether they’re a composer, editor or a character in a story. From presenting with Women in Media in LA to teaching film workshops for Oakland teen girls with Reel Stories, Noam is active in organizations that elevate women in film.

Director Statement

Much like our world, Ella’s world is a world of mirrors, eyes, phone cameras and pictures. Her neighbor – Ella’s image of perfection – is disturbingly similar to the modern social media image of perfection that most young women are presented with today: fitness, succulents, selfies. I was interested in the intersection of these worlds and the physical manifestation of our ugliest, deepest desires. As such, most of the film was born out of my own curiosity to experiment. What would it look like if I was to put all of our social media tendencies (stalking, screenshotting, infiltrating people’s private moments) into the real world? As an immigrant from a country with a different standard of beauty, I was also interested in exploring the classically American definition of feminine beauty from the perspective of the female gaze. Taking these two experiments together, I made this film and found something relentless, twisted, disturbing, and obsessive. Though Ella’s world is extreme, it hangs on something incredibly prescient and grounded: It’s easy to envy and to get sucked into what we are told to want. And when image is king, we lose ourselves in our desire to chase it. I hope this film can make people laugh, feel disturbed, and spark some of these conversations.

– Noam Argov

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