From 1978 to 1981 Mehdi Norowzian studied at Hornsey School of Art, he graduated with BA (Hons) in Fine Art. In 1982 he went on to complete an MA in Film Studies at the Royal College of Art in London.
On completion of his studies, he gained experience as a First Assistant Director. During this time he was able to continue working on his own short films funded by the BFI, which he wrote, produced, choreographed, lit and of course directed.
In June 1992 he decided to start directing commercials and was instantly signed up by The Redwing Film Company off the back of his short films. His debut commercials for Stella Artois were later to receive two nominations out of five for D&AD Best Direction. He was also recognised in “Faces to Watch in 1993” in Campaign magazine.
In November 1994, he joined forces with his former Redwing Producer, Desley Gregory, to start up their own company – Joy Films. Mehdi continued to direct high-profile award-winning work, including spots for Mercedes, Audi and Sony, and work with celebrities such as Kate Moss and Harvey Keitel. He has also worked extensively with sports brands, including Adidas and Reebok and was included in the 1998 D&AD publication of the world’s 32 Best Commercial Directors.
Mehdi directed a 40-minute film called “Killing Joe” which received various awards at international film festivals, including an Oscar nomination in the short film category in March 2000.
In 2002, he finished his first feature “Leo” starring Joseph Fiennes, Elisabeth Shue, Dennis Hopper and Sam Shepard. “Leo” was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival and the London Film Festival and was distributed in 2004.
Joy Films joined with RSA in November 2003 to become JOY@rsa, which gave Mehdi worldwide representation within their network. He continues to work on projects with international clients, including award-winning work for AOL.