Osamah Sami is an award-winning actor, writer, director, poet, and stand up comedian. He was born and raised in war torn Iran to Iraqi parents, before moving with his family to Australia as a teen.
Osamah is the star and writer behind the hit Australian film Ali’s Wedding (now on NETFLIX), co-written alongside Andrew Knight (Hacksaw Ridge, The Water Diviner) , and 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 (AWGIE) 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. Ali’s Wedding also took out over a dozen other awards, including the Sydney Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Film.
Osamah’s 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 also adapted his book for the stage, which enjoyed sold-out seasons at Malthouse Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre this year. The play was selected for publication, in print before the fourth quarter of 2020.
On screen, Osamah has played several leading roles, including Tony Ayres’ award-winning tele-movie Saved opposite Australian screen icon 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 in over two dozen productions across half a dozen countries. In Australia, he has appeared at Belvoir St. Theatre Company Sydney, Browns Mart Theatre Darwin, Heath Ledger Theatre Perth, La Mama Theatre, Malthouse Theatre Company, Playhouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, and Queensland Theatre. 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 the recipient of the triennial Golden Phoenix International Award for his contribution to Iraqi culture in diaspora. He is also 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.