Osamah Sami is an award-winning actor, writer, director, stand up comedian and spoken word artist. He was born in war torn Iran to Iraqi parents and escaped with his family to Australia as a teen.
Osamah is the star and writer behind the smash-hit Australian film Ali’s Wedding, co-written alongside Andrew Knight (Hacksaw Ridge, The Water Diviner) , shot by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Don McAlpine (Moulin Rouge, Mrs Doubtfire), under the helm of award-winning director Jeffrey Walker (Modern Family, Dance Academy). His screenplay earned him an Australian Academy (AACTA) Award, an Australian Writers Guild Award, an Australian Film Critics Association Award, and a Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Original Screenplay. For his portrayal of the titular character, he also received AACTA Award, FCCA Award and AFCA Award nominations for Best Lead Actor. The film also won a dozen other awards, including the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at Sydney Film Festival.
His memoir Good Muslim Boy was published by Hardie Grant in 2015 to critical acclaim, winning the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and Highly Commended at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. He has also adapted his book for the stage, which enjoyed sold-out seasons at Malthouse Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre this year.
On screen, he has played several leading roles, including Tony Ayres’ award-winning tele-movie Saved opposite Claudia Karvan, as well as director Mohammad Ghorbankarimi’s expansive tele-movie Journey. Osamah was also one of the leads in Dee McLachlan’s award-winning feature comedy 10 Terrorists!
On stage he has performed for Belvoir St. Theatre Company, Big West, La Mama, Malthouse Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, and over two dozen independent theatre houses. His role as Amor in swedish playwright’s Jonas Khmeiri’s gritty show I Call My Brothers at the MTC earned him a Green Room Award nomination for Best Lead Actor.
Osamah was also the recipient of the triennial Golden Phoenix International Award for his contribution to Iraqi culture in diaspora. He is listed as a ‘notable Australian Muslim’ by the Commonwealth of Australia. In 2017, he was the winner of the Creative Muslim of the Year at the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards.